U.S. builders spent more in October on new homes, offices and shopping centers, pushing construction spending up for a third straight month. Despite the gains, construction spending remained depressed.
The Commerce Department said construction spending rose 0.8 percent in October to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $798.5 billion.
That's barely half the $1.5 trillion that economists consider healthy. Through the first 10 months of this year, construction spending is 2.9 percent below the depressed levels of 2010.
The construction industry was hit hard from the housing bust and has had trouble recovering from the recession . Analysts said it could be four years before construction returns to healthy levels.