WASHINGTON — Spending on U.S. construction projects increased 0.9% in November as strength in home building offset weakness in other parts of the construction industry.
The November gain followed a bigger 1.6% rise in October and left construction spending up 4.4% through the first 11 months of 2020 compared to the same period in 2019, according to the Commerce Department.
For November, spending on residential construction rose 2.7% with single-family construction surging 5.1 percent while apartment construction was flat, according to the new data released Monday. Record low mortgage rates have spurred strong demand for housing even as a global pandemic resulted in widespread lock downs for other parts of the economy.
Spending on non-residential projects fell 0.8% with spending for office buildings dropping a sharp 8.1%. Spending on government projects dipped 0.2% in November. Many state and local governments are facing severe budget constraints as a sharp recession has cut into tax revenues.