US construction spending up 1% in December led by housing

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FILE – In this Dec. 1, 2020 file photo, workers toil on new homes under construction in a development near Chatfield State Park in Littleton, Colo. Spending on U.S. construction projects increased 0.9% in November as strength in home building offset weakness in other parts of the construction industry. The Commerce Department said that the November gain followed a bigger 1.6% rise in October and left construction spending up 4.4% through the first 11 months of 2020 compared to the same period in 2019. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. construction spending rose a moderate 1% in December as strength in home building offset continued weakness in nonresidential construction.

The increase followed a 1.1% gain in November, the Commerce Department reported Monday. Last month’s strength came from a 3.1% jump in spending on residential projects with money going to single-family homes surging by 5.8%.

The rise in home building offset a 1.7% decline in nonresidential construction which had declines in hotel and motel construction and in the category that includes shopping centers.

Spending on government projects which had been hit by falling tax revenues rose 0.5% in December.

Housing has been a star performer over the past year, helped by record low interest rates, while many other parts of the economy have been hard hit by the Covid-19 pandemic.

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