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MNI DATA ANALYSIS: US Dec Construction Spending Up 0.7%>

--Highest Level of Construction Spending Since Series Start
--Highest Private Residential Spending Since March 2007
--Total Private Spending Up 0.8%; Public Rises 0.3%
By Holly Stokes and Sara Haire
     WASHINGTON (MNI) - Construction spending was up 0.7% in December, 
above the expected 0.5% gain, mainly due to the 0.8% gain in private 
construction spending, data released by the Commerce Department 
Thursday morning showed. 
     Analysts had expected construction spending to rise 0.5%, adding to 
a 0.8% rise in November. With the latest data, November construction was 
revised down to a 0.6% increase, while October spending was revised 
sharply down to a 0.1% increase from the 0.9% rise previously reported. 
     Private residential construction spending was up 0.5% in the month, 
but home building ex. new homes, also known as remodeling, fell 0.2% 
according to an MNI calculation. New homes saw a 0.8% rise, also based 
on an MNI calculation. Single-family building saw a 0.4% increase, while 
multi-family building posted a 2.6% rise from November. 
     Private nonresidential construction was up 1.1% in December. There 
were significant increases in office, commercial, lodging, and 
communication, with the only declines in power and manufacturing. 
     The data shows fixed investment finished strong in the fourth 
quarter, ahead of of the previous quarter's average. 
     Public construction spending saw a 0.3% gain in December following 
a revised 0.1% and 2.4% increase in November and October, respectively. 
     The gain in public construction reflected a 10.9% surge in Federal 
Government spending, jumping to the highest level seen since December 
2012. State and local building softened the large gain in the Federal 
Government spending, seeing a decline of 0.6% in the month. 
      ** MNI Washington Bureau: 202-371-2121 ** 

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