U.S. construction spending (search) climbed 0.7 percent in January, topping expectations, as both private and public construction hit record levels, a government report showed Tuesday.

Construction put in place in January increased to a record $1.047 trillion annual rate, compared with an upwardly revised $1.040 trillion rate in December, the Commerce Department (search) said.

Wall Street analysts had forecast a 0.4 percent increase in construction spending in January. December's reading was revised to a 1.2 percent increase from the originally reported 1.1 percent increase.

Overall residential spending rose 0.5 percent in January.

Private nonresidential spending, often seen as an indicator of business confidence, hit a record high and climbed 1.2 percent in the month.

Public construction spending increased 0.8 percent to a record $241.56 billion rate in January. Spending increases in sectors including commercial, educational, and highway and street offset declines in office, health care, public safety and amusement and recreation.