Construction spending rebounded in February, as builders took advantage of the warm weather to put up more houses.
Construction spending rose a seasonally adjusted 0.8% in February, the Commerce Department reported. Though that’s below expectations for a 1% gain, the start to the year proved stronger than expected; January’s decline was revised upward to now show a 0.4% decline instead of a previously reported 1% drop.
Compared to 12 months ago, construction spending improved 3%. That’s slightly slower than the rate at which the construction industry has been adding jobs, which cuts against industry claims they cannot find enough talented workers.
The gains in construction spending during February weren’t a surprise, as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported the second-warmest February in at least 123 years.
In February, residential spending grew 1.8% while nonresidential spending was flat. Multifamily spending — apartment building, in other words — grew 2%, while single-family construction rose 1.2%.