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News Summary: US builders boost housing activity

CONSTRUCTION SLIPS: U.S. construction spending fell for a second straight month, dipping 0.7 percent in August compared to July.

HOUSING UP: Construction of new homes and apartments rose, further evidence of a rebound in housing. Spending on nonresidential projects such as office buildings and shopping centers fell.

BUILDING PROSPECTS: Construction spending was at an annual rate of $834.4 billion in August, up nearly 12 percent from a 12-year low in February 2011. But it is just half the pace considered healthy, and analysts believe it could be a number of years before a full recovery in construction happens.