Construction spending rose in August for a fifth consecutive month, the Commerce Department reported Oct. 23.
The 0.6% expenditures increase brought spending to an annual $915.1 billion rate. Economists’ median forecast was 0.4% gain, Bloomberg News reported.
The data originally were scheduled to be released Oct. 1, but the report was delayed by the 16-day partial government shutdown that ended last week.
“Despite the backup in rates, affordability is still higher than it was in seven previous business cycles,” Brett Ryan, U.S. economist at Deutsche Bank Securities Inc., said before the report, according to Bloomberg.
Spending rose 5.9% in the 12 months ended in August after adjusting for seasonal variations, according to Commerce figures.
August private-construction spending increased 0.7%, and homebuilding outlays increased 1.2%, the highest level since August 2008.
Federal spending dropped 3.8%, the biggest decrease since June 2008. State and local construction spending rose 0.8%.