WASHINGTON — Construction spending rose 0.9% to a seasonally adjusted estimated annual rate of $884.9 billion in December, the Commerce Department reported Friday.
The December rate increased from a revised November level of $876.9 billion, originally reported as $866 billion. The December mark was 7.8% above the $820.6 billion estimate for the same month one year ago, and was the highest rate since an $889.6 billion in August 2009.
The acceleration in the annual rate was more than the median 0.6% increase projected by economists polled by Thomson Reuters.
Total construction spending during the year was $850.2 billion, 9.2% above the $778.2 billion spending level last year. The increase marked the first time since 2006 that construction rose from the previous year.
Public construction spending declined 1.4% to a $270.1 billion annual rate, from the revised November figure of $274.1 billion. The December figure represents the lowest reported public construction rate since a $260.6 billion rate in November 2006.
State and local construction spending dropped 1.7% to $245.1 billion, the smallest estimate since it was $241.6 billion in November 2006. Federal construction spending rose 1.3% to a $24.9 billion annual rate. Highway construction spending increased 0.7%.
Spending on private construction rose 2% to a seasonally adjusted estimated rate of $614.9 billion in December, from $602.9 billion the previous month. Private residential construction increased 2.2%, while nonresidential construction climbed 1.8% from November.