Construction spending up 0.8% in October to nearly 4 1/2-year high

Updated Dec 3, 2013

HouseConstructionConstruction spending in the U.S. rose 0.8 percent in October to a nearly 4 1/2-year high.

Construction spending reached a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $908.4 billion, the highest pace since May 2009, according to preliminary data released by the Commerce Department Monday. October’s total was 5.3 percent better than October 2012.

The release of October’s results were delayed due to the partial government shutdown in October. The Commerce Department also released September’s data on Monday which was down 0.3 percent from August. The department also reported that the August and July rates were less than originally reported.

Overall nonresidential spending was the highlight in October, up 1.6 percent to $575.billion. Residential spending was down 0.5 percent to $332.8 billion.

But growth in October was mainly driven by a 3.9-percent jump in public spending to $282.7 billion. That total is 2.3-percent better than October 2012.

Federal government construction spending was up 10.9 percent in October, suggesting that the shutdown didn’t have much of an impact on public construction projects.

Public residential construction spending was up 4.6 percent in October to $6 billion, while nonresidential spending rose 3.8 percent to $276.7 billion.

Total private construction spending fell 0.5 percent to $625.7 billion. Construction spending on homes fell 0.6 percent in October to $326.8 billion, while nonresidential spending fell 0.5 percent to $298.8 billion.