U.S. construction spending posted a surprisingly robust 0.7% gain in October, matching the prior month's rise as investment in both public and private projects increased, the Commerce Department said on Wednesday.
October's gain, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $802.32 billion, was sharply contrary to expectations of economists surveyed by Reuters, who had predicted a 0.4% decline in spending.
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Spending on private construction projects rose 0.8% to a $481.78 billion rate, double September's 0.4% increase, and included a 2.5% increase in spending on new-home building.
Public construction spending gained 0.4% in October to $320.54 billion a year after a 1.2% rise in September - the strongest annual rate for public construction spending since July 2009.