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February 3, 2006

U.S. construction spending on the rise

WASHINGTON

U.S. construction spending climbed to an all-time high in December, helping to push building for all of 2005 to a record as well.

The Commerce Department reported spending rose by one per cent in December as private construction and government spending on building activities set records for the year.

Spending to construct homes, offices, highways and other building projects totalled a record $1.12 trillion US, up 8.9 per cent from the previous record of $1.028 trillion spent in 2004.

The report said private residential construction rose one per cent in December to an all-time high of $648.9B.

Private non-residential construction was up 1.3 per cent with building of offices, hotels and shopping centres all showing gains. Total private construction, which covers residential and nonresidential structures, rose by 1.1 per cent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $904.3 billion in December, also a record.

Total public construction was up 0.7 per cent to a record $256.3 billion with spending on federal and state and local projects both setting all-time highs.

Federal building projects rose by 6.7 per cent to $19.5 billion; state and local construction spending rose by 0.2 per cent to $236.8 billion.

Associated Press

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