Construction spending reached a new high in February, soaring to $1.19 trillion, up 0.8 percent from January and 7.4 percent from February 2005, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
In this ninth consecutive record-breaking month, private nonresidential construction led the way, finishing at $265 billion, up 0.8 percent since January and 9.6 percent from a year ago. Also making strong gains were private residential construction, which has increased 7.1 percent since last year, and public construction, which increased 6 percent in the past 12 months. Several segments grew rapidly; among them are shopping center construction, which leaped 61 percent since December 2005 and commercial warehouse construction, which climbed 20 percent during the past two months.
For the month, public construction slackened off a bit, finishing at 0.5 percent below January totals. Highway construction remained a bright spot in this category, increasing 0.7 percent from January.