[WASHINGTON] US construction spending barely rose in December as spending on nonresidential structures recorded its biggest drop since 2013, suggesting a mild downward revision to the advance fourth-quarter GDP growth estimate.
Construction spending ticked up 0.1 per cent after a downwardly revised 0.6 per cent drop in November, the Commerce Department said on Monday.
Economists polled by Reuters had forecast construction spending rising 0.6 per cent in December after a previously reported 0.4 per cent drop in November.
December's small increase and November's slightly steeper decline could affect the government's fourth-quarter gross domestic product estimate. The government reported on Friday that the economy expanded at a 0.7 per cent annual rate in the final three months of the year.
Construction outlays increased 10.5 per cent in 2015, the biggest rise since 2005, after advancing 9.6 per cent in 2014.
In December, construction spending was constrained by a 2.1 per cent decline in nonresidential structures, which includes factories and offices. That was the largest drop since January 2013. Outlays on private residential construction rose 0.9 per cent, likely boosted by warm weather.
Overall, private construction spending fell 0.6 per cent in December.
Public construction outlays shot up 1.9 per cent. Spending on state and local government construction projects, the largest portion of the public sector segment, increased 2.3 per cent. Federal government construction outlays dropped 3.3 per cent.