U.S. spending on construction projects rises 1.7 percent in January
Spending on U.S. construction projects rose 1.7 percent in January as new home building continues to lift the sector. Last month’s increase followed small revised gains in December and November.
Spending on residential construction rose 2.5 percent in January, with single-family home projects up three percent, the U.S. Commerce Department reported. Despite an economy that’s been battered for nearly a year because of the coronavirus pandemic, historically low interest rates and city dwellers seeking more space in the suburbs and beyond have boosted home sales. Last week, the Commerce Department reported that sales of new homes jumped 4.3 percent in January, and are 19.3 percent higher than they were last year at this time.
In a separate report, the government reported that applications for building permits, which typically signal activity ahead, spiked 10.4 percent in January. Spending on government projects, which has been constrained by tight state and local budgets in the wake of the pandemic, rose 1.7 percent.
Non-residential construction was up 0.4 percent after months of declines but is still down 10 percent from January of last year. The category that accounts for hotels also ticked up 0.7 percent but is still down a whopping 22.7 percent from the same time last year as the travel and leisure sector has been one of the hardest hit by the pandemic.
Total spending on construction in January was $1.52 billion, 5.8 percent higher than January 2020.
Source: The Associated Press