US construction spending jumps 1.3% in October

Friday, November 27, 2020, Vol. 44, No. 48

SILVER SPRING, Md. (AP) — U.S. construction spending jumped 1.3% in October, the fifth straight monthly increase, again on the strength of single-family home building.

The October gain follows a strong upward revision to 0.5% in September, from a previous estimate of a 0.3% gain, the Commerce Department reported Tuesday. It's the largest increase since a 2.8% jump in January, before the coronavirus pandemic all but shuttered the U.S. economy. Spending in October was stronger than economists had expected.

Single-family home building has been a consistent bright spot for months as a lack of new homes has pushed builders to ramp up projects. Single-family home construction rose 5.6% in October, helping to boost a 2.9% increase in total private residential construction for the month.

Nonresidential private construction fell 0.7%, with the category that includes hotels and other lodging falling 3.1%.

Spending on government construction projects increased 1% after generally lagging for months, possibly due to budget restraints by state and local governments as the pandemic wiped out large amounts of tax revenue. Construction of roads, schools and public safety projects all increased.

During the first ten months of 2020, construction spending is up 4.3% over the same period last year.