WASHINGTON — Construction spending rose 0.8% in September to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $940.3 billion, boosted by a record-high level of public construction, the Commerce Department reported yesterday.

Spending on private construction projects increased 0.5% and private residential construction gained 3.9%, the largest increase since July 2003. Nonresidential construction fell 1.8%.

Economists estimated construction spending would fall 0.2% in September, according to the median estimate from Thomson Reuters.

Total construction for August was revised to a 0.1% decline from the 0.8% increase that was initially reported. Private construction was revised lower to a 0.4% rise from a 1.8% increase.

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