WASHINGTON — U.S. builders increased their spending on construction projects for a second month in April. A pickup in home construction and commercial projects offset a fifth consecutive decline in government spending.
The Commerce Department says construction spending rose 0.3 percent in April, matching an upwardly revised 0.3 percent March gain.
The consecutive gains pushed spending to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $820.7 billion to March. That is 7.6 percent above a 12-year low hit in March 2011. Still, the level of spending is roughly half of what economists consider to be healthy.
Residential construction rose 2.8 percent in April, the best showing in six months, to an annual rate of $256.1 billion. Recent data shows that housing has stabilized after years of weakness following the collapse of the housing boom.