Construction Spending Rises After Record-Low Month

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home construction spendingAfter falling below spending levels not seen since over a decade ago, construction spending rose in March for the first time in three months, according to Census data released Monday.

March construction spending was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $768.9 billion, or 1.4 percent above the revised estimate of $758.6 billion in February, the lowest number since October 1999. Home construction was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $229.1 billion in March, up 2.6 percent from the February estimate of $223.2 billion.

While spending on both residential homes and apartments declined, the overall boost in home construction can be attributed to an increase in home improvement projects.

Despite the climb in March, construction spending is still only half the $1.5 trillion activity level that economists consider the benchmark for healthy spending. Economists predict that it may take up to four years for the building industry to fully recover.
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