WASHINGTON – Construction spending jumped more than expected in April to a third consecutive record high as rising mortgage interest rates spurred a rush to build, a government report showed Tuesday.
Construction spending rose 1.3 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual $970.39 billion rate in April from a revised $957.63 billion pace in March, the Commerce Department (search) said.
Analysts polled by Reuters had expected a much smaller 0.4 percent increase.
Some economists said the figure could lead to upward revisions in the pace of first-quarter economic growth, which Commerce estimated last week at 4.ties in New York.
Private residential construction spending rose 1.2 percent to a record $520.73 billion rate from a revised $514.71 billion clip in March.
Public construction climbed 1.7 percent to $230.47 billion, also a new high, from $226.58 billion.
Private nonresidential construction rose for the third straight month to $219.19 billion, the highest level since March 2003, in a sign of growing business investment as the economy strengthens.