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Construction spending jumps, pushed by homebuilding

July 01, 2013|By E. Scott Reckard
  • A construction worker carries a load of wood to a new home in Chester, Va. Home builder sentiment made its highest jump in nearly a decade.
A construction worker carries a load of wood to a new home in Chester, Va.… (Steve Helber / Associated…)

In a fresh indication of the housing rebound, construction spending in May was up 5.4% compared¬†with a year earlier, thanks to the highest residential numbers in 4¬Ĺ years.

The improvement came despite a 1.4% decline in nonresidential construction, the Commerce Department reported Monday, with spending falling off for office buildings and in a category that includes shopping centers.

Quiz: How much do you know about California's economy?

Total construction rose to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $874.9 billion in May, an increase of 0.5% over April.

Private residential construction rose 1.2% month-over-month, to the highest level since October 2008.

Public construction rose 1.8%, thanks to gains at the state and local level -- a sign that improving municipal budgets are compensating for the across-the-board federal budget cuts known as sequestration.

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