The Real Deal Miami

U.S. construction spending on the rise

February 02, 2012 10:30AM

National construction spending grew by about 0.5 percent in December, Bloomberg News reported, at the fastest pace in four months — an indication that the industry may be finding its footing.

Building expenditures jumped 1.5 percent in December, according to data provided by the Department of Commerce. Private construction spending rose 2.1 percent and housing starts fared especially well, growing by 3.4 percent last year to the highest level since 2008.

The positive growth came primarily from the construction of multi-family dwellings, Bloomberg noted, as more Americans opted to rent as opposed to buy.

“There are certainly bright spots for the construction outlook,” said Michelle Meyer, a senior U.S. economist at Bank of America. “Multi-family construction will continue to improve given the ongoing shift from owning to renting and the lack of supply in the market. It will still be a very slow healing process.” [Bloomberg]