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U.S. builders boost spending 1.4 percent in October

WASHINGTON — 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 said Monday that construction spending rose 1.4 percent in October. It was the largest gain since a 1.7 percent increase in May.

The increase raised 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 on construction remains only about half of what's considered healthy.

Housing construction spending jumped 3 percent in October. Nonresidential building rose 0.3 percent. The government said Superstorm Sandy, which hit in late October, had only a minimal effect on the figures.


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