According to the Census Bureau, U.S. construction spending rose 0.9% (December, seasonally-adjusted rate), up from an increase of 0.1% last month (last month being November--there's a one-month lag on the data). The expected increase this month was 0.6%. Last month, -0.3% was the expected decrease. In other words, this month and last month handily beat expectations.
This increase in the growth rate means that the industry is on track for an annualized rate of $885 billion in construction spending. Most of the gains are in the single-family housing sector (residential housing construction grew 22.3% last year). But improvements in the residential market are usually correlated with improvements in the industry overall.
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