ECONOMY

US construction jumps 0.8 percent in May, pushing total spending to highest level in 6 years

FILE - In this June 18, 2015, file photo, construction workers secure a steel apparatus to a crane that will be used on the roof of the Oculus structure at the World Trade Center transportation hub, in New York. The Commerce Department reports on U.S. construction spending in May on Wednesday, July 1, 2015. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)

FILE - In this June 18, 2015, file photo, construction workers secure a steel apparatus to a crane that will be used on the roof of the Oculus structure at the World Trade Center transportation hub, in New York. The Commerce Department reports on U.S. construction spending in May on Wednesday, July 1, 2015. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)  (The Associated Press)

U.S. construction spending posted a solid gain in May, pushing total activity to the highest point since the fall of 2008, with the strength led by a big jump in non-residential projects.

The Commerce Department says that total construction spending increased 0.8 percent in May following an even bigger 2.1 percent advance in April. The gains pushed totaled activity to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1.04 trillion, the best showing since October 2008.

All major categories showed increases in May, led by a 1.5 percent rise in non-residential building, which reflected increases in spending on hotels, manufacturing facilities and amusement parks. Residential construction was up a more modest 0.3 percent. Spending on government projects rose 0.7 percent.

Construction activity is expected to be a source of strength this year.