Construction spending inched higher in October to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $910.8 billion — officially flat, but less than a 0.1% increase — as private residential construction increased by the largest amount in 11 years, the Commerce Department reported ­yesterday.

Spending in September was revised down to a decrease of 1.6% from the 0.8% increase initially reported. The September decrease was the largest since January. The September revision means that construction spending has now been unchanged or has declined since April.

Construction spending fell 14.4% from a year ago. Through the first 10 months of 2009, construction spending is down 12.6% from the same period last year.

Economists expected construction spending to decrease 0.5% in October, according to the median estimate from Thomson Reuters.

Private construction increased 0.3% for the month, boosted by a 4.4% increase in private residential construction, the largest increase since March 1998.

Public construction spending decreased 0.4% as federal construction increased 4.6%, the largest increase since June.

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