Partly reflecting a jump in spending on public construction, the Commerce Department released a report on Friday showing a bigger than expected increase in U.S. construction spending in the month of September.
The Commerce Department said construction spending climbed by 0.5 percent to an annual rate of $1.294 trillion in September after falling by 0.3 percent to a revised rate of $1.287 trillion in August.
Economists had expected construction spending to edge up by 0.2 percent compared to the 0.1 percent uptick originally reported for the previous month.
The bigger than expected increase in construction spending came as spending on public construction surged up by 1.5 percent to an annual rate of $331.9 billion in September from the revised August estimate of $327.2 billion.
Spending on educational construction spiked by 3.1 percent to a rate of $78.9 billion, while spending on highway construction shot up by 2.6 percent to a rate of $98.0 billion.
The report said spending on private construction also rose by 0.2 percent to an annual rate of $961.7 billion in September from the revised August estimate of $959.9 billion.
A 0.6 percent increase in spending on residential construction to a rate of $511.4 billion more than offset a 0.3 percent drop in spending on non-residential construction to a rate of $450.3 billion.
Compared to the same month a year ago, total construction spending in September was down by 2.0 percent, with a 4.6 percent slump in spending on private construction more than offsetting a 6.6 percent spike in spending on public construction.