Construction spending in the U.S. rose in December at the fastest pace in four months, reflecting broad-based gains that signal the industry is stabilizing.
Building outlays increased 1.5 percent, the biggest gain since August, Commerce Department figures showed today in Washington. The median estimate of 51 economists in a Bloomberg survey called for a 0.5 percent rise.
A housing market that is gaining some steam as builders begin apartment projects may breathe life into the industry that's struggled since triggering the recession in 2007. At the same time, decreased spending by the government may temper progress in construction as a whole.
"There are certainly bright spots for the construction outlook," Michelle Meyer, a senior U.S. economist at Bank of America Corp. in New York, said before the report. "Multifamily construction will continue to improve given the ongoing shift from owning to renting and the lack of supply in the market. It will still be a very slow healing process."
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Source: Bloomberg News