U.S. construction spending rose more than expected in November, reaching its highest level in 10-1/2 years, which could provide a lift to fourth-quarter economic growth.
The Commerce Department said on Tuesday that construction spending increased 0.9 percent to $1.18 trillion, the highest level since April 2006. It was boosted by gains in both private and public sector investment
Construction spending in October was revised up to show a 0.6 percent rise instead of the previously reported 0.5 percent increase. Construction spending was up 4.1 percent from a year ago in November.
Economists polled by Reuters had forecast construction spending rising 0.6 percent in November. November's better-than-expected increase and October's upward revision to construction spending could prompt economists to raise their gross domestic product estimates for the fourth quarter.
Spending on private construction projects jumped 1.0 percent in November to its highest level since July 2006 as single-family home building, as well as home renovations, increased.
Investment in private nonresidential structures — which include factories, hospitals and roads — rose 0.9 percent after tumbling 1.5 percent the prior month.
Public construction spending gained 0.8 percent in November to the highest level since March. It was the fourth straight month of increases. Outlays on state and local government construction projects rose 0.6 percent, also gaining for a fourth consecutive month.
Federal government construction spending surged 3.1 percent after rising 0.2 percent in October.