Washington (AP) – U.S. builders increased their spending on construction projects in October by the largest amount in five months, led by a surge in housing.
The Commerce Department says construction spending rose 1.4 percent in October. It was the largest gain since a 1.7 percent increase in May.
The increase increased construction spending to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $872.1 billion. That is nearly 17 percent higher than a 12-year low hit in February 2011.
Still, even with the gain, the level of spending remains only about half of what's considered healthy.
Housing construction jumped 3 percent in October. Nonresidential construction rose 0.3 percent. The government says Superstorm Sandy, which hit in late October, had only a minimal impact on the figures.