WASHINGTON – U.S. construction spending surged 1.8 percent to a record high in April as home building rose by the largest amount in 24 years.
The Commerce Department says the April gain reversed a 1.7 percent drop in March. The strength stems from a sizable 4.5 percent rise in residential construction, the biggest percentage gain since November 1993. Non-residential construction also rose by a more modest 0.8 percent while spending on government projects fell 1.3 percent as both the federal government and state and local governments saw declines.
The overall gain pushed construction to an all-time high of $1.31 trillion at a seasonally adjusted annual rate, 7.6 percent above the level of a year ago. Construction is expected to provide a healthy contribution to economic growth this year.