May 12, 2010 | Construction spending in the U.S. unexpectedly increased in March, propelled by gains in state and local government projects.
The 0.2 percent increase brought spending to $847.3 billion, and followed a revised 2.1 percent drop in February that was larger than previously estimated, Commerce Department figures showed today in Washington. The value of private projects dropped to the lowest level in 11 years.
Federal government stimulus funds may be trickling down to the state and local level, promoting construction of power plants, transportation systems and hospitals. Other areas of the economy are struggling as high building vacancies and low plant use mean spending on commercial projects will continue to be depressed in coming months.
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