SPENDING UP: U.S. construction spending rose 0.2 percent in September to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $787.2 billion, the Commerce Department said Tuesday.

GAINS, LOSSES: It was the second straight monthly increase. Gains in home construction partially offset losses in public projects.

STILL WEAK: Spending is barely half the $1.5 trillion that economists consider healthy. Through the first nine months of the year, spending is at $580.9 billion, about 3.5 percent below the same period in 2010. Analysts say it could be four years before construction returns to healthy levels.