Construction Spending Rises in August

Washington, DC, Oct. 3, 2011 -- U.S. construction spending rose unexpectedly in August from a drop in July, bolstered by state and local government building projects, according to the Commerce Department.

Construction spending rose 1.4% to an annual rate of $799.15 billion, the government said.

Economists had forecast a 0.3% drop after July construction spending fell by a revised 1.4% the previous month.

Private construction spending in August rose 0.4%, with residential spending up 0.7% and nonresidential spending up 0.2%.

Spending on public construction rose a strong 3.1%, registering its biggest monthly gain since February 2009.

State and local spending rose 3.5%, while federal construction spending fell 0.5%.