In this Jan. 4, 2019, photo work continues on a plan of new homes in Franklin Park, Pa. On Wednesday, March 13, the Commerce Department reports on U.S. construction spending in January. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

US construction spending up strong 1.3 percent in January

March 13, 2019 - 10:05 am

WASHINGTON (AP) — Spending on U.S. construction projects in January posted the biggest gain in nine months, as strength in nonresidential construction and government projects offset continued weakness in home construction.

The Commerce Department says that construction spending rose 1.3 percent in January following two months of declines. It was the biggest gain since spending was up 1.7 percent in April. Spending on residential projects fell 0.3 percent in January, the sixth consecutive monthly decline for a sector that was hurt last year by rising mortgage rates and higher home building costs.

Spending on nonresidential construction increased 0.8 percent in January with spending on office buildings, hotels and the category that covers shopping centers all showing gains.

Spending on government projects jumped 4.9 percent, the biggest increase in nearly 15 years.

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