Construction spending in the U.S. increased in June
Spending on U.S. construction projects unexpectedly rose in June, led by an improvement in residential real estate and gains in government projects. The 0.3 percent increase to $965.7 billion followed a revised 0.8 percent drop the prior month, according to data from the Commerce Department. Private residential projects rose for the second time in three months and spending by the Federal government increased by the most this year. Spending on infrastructure projects is likely to keep rising in coming months as state and local governments use funds from the $787 billion fiscal stimulus package. In addition, lower home prices and mortgage rates are beginning to boost sales, spurring residential construction and bringing an end to the worst housing slump in seven decades. Total construction spending was forecast to drop 0.5 percent after an originally reported 0.9 percent decrease the prior month, according to the median estimate of 50 economists in a Bloomberg News survey. Estimates ranged from a decline of 2 percent to a 1 percent gain.