U.S. construction spending up 0.1% in December, homebuilding rises to highest point in 5 1/2 years

Updated Feb 4, 2014

HouseConstructionConstruction spending in the U.S. rose slightly in December, with homebuilding reaching its highest point in 5 1/2 years, according to preliminary data released by the Commerce Department today.

In total, the value of construction in 2013 was $898.4 billion, finishing 4.8 percent above the 2012 figure.

Spending rose a slight 0.1 percent to $930.4 billion from the revised November figure of $930 billion. Last month, the Commerce Department reported a preliminary figure of $934.4 billion for November.

The December figure is 5.4 percent higher than it was in December 2012.

Overall residential construction spending in the U.S. rose 2.4 percent in December to $357.4 billion. That’s a 17.5-percent improvement over December 2012.

Nonresidential spending fell 1.3 percent to $573 billion. That’s down 1.1 percent from December 2012.

Private construction rose 1 percent to $664 billion. Private residential construction was up 2.6 percent to $352.6 billion — its highest mark since June 2008 — while private nonresidential fell 0.7 percent to $311.3 billion.

Government construction spending fell for the second consecutive month, down 2.3 percent $266.5 billion. Public residential spending took the hardest hit, falling 11.5 percent percent to $4.8 billion, while public nonresidential spending fell 2.1 percent to $261.7 billion.