US construction spending rises, but misses expectations

[WASHINGTON] US construction spending rose less than expected in December, with private outlays barely rising amid declines in investment in power and transportation projects.

Construction spending rose 0.4 per cent to an annual rate of US$982.1 billion, the Commerce Department said on Monday.

November's construction outlays were revised up to show a 0.2 per cent decline instead of the previously reported 0.3 per cent fall. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast construction spending rising 0.7 per cent in December.

For all of 2014, construction spending increased 5.6 per cent. The government reported on Friday that the economy grew at a 2.6 per cent annual pace in the fourth quarter, slowing from the third-quarter's 5.0 per cent rate.

In December, private construction spending edged up 0.1 per cent, with outlays for power projects falling 1.0 per cent and spending on transportation dropping 1.4 per cent.

Outlays on residential projects rose 0.3 per cent. Residential spending was lifted by gains in both single- and multi-family homes as well as renovations.

Spending on public construction projects increased 1.1 per cent in December.


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