U.S. construction in November was stronger than analysts had expected, according to data from the U.S. Commerce Department and a Reuters poll of Wall Street analysts.
Public spending for the month increased 1.4%, with the Federal government leading the way with a 6% increase and the states lagging with a 1% gain in spending. Total public spending was at a record rate of $322 billion in November, CNNMoney reported.
On the other hand, homebuilding continued to fall. Private homebuilding spending declined 4.2% in November, to its lowest annual rate since 1999, according to CNNMoney.
Other homebuilding data shows that sector continuing to weaken into the new year. The Pending Home Sales Index, considered a forward-looking indicator of home sales, fell again in November, to its lowest level since the index began in 2001, according to U.S. News and World Report.com. Year over year the index is down 5.3% from November 2007.
Several commentators noted that the relative strength of construction spending versus expectations precedes what is anticipated to be a large Federal stimulus package when the new Administration takes over in Washington. This bodes well for the stimulus to be effective in boosting economic growth in 2009.