WASHINGTON – U.S. construction spending posted a modest gain in April, helped by increases in home building and government construction that lifted total activity to the highest level in five years.
The Commerce Department says construction spending rose 0.2 percent in April to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $953.5 billion, the strongest performance since March 2009. The April increase was lower than economists had expected, but the government revised March activity higher to a 0.6 percent gain, up from an initial estimate of a 0.2 percent increase.
It marked the third straight increase after severe winter weather pushed spending down 0.4 percent in January.
Construction activity was a drag on the overall economy in the first quarter when the economy actually shrank, but analysts are looking for a strong spring rebound.