Economy

US Construction Spending Hits Four-Year High

Up .6 percent

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Construction spending in the U.S. increased in July to the highest level in four years, propelled by gains in residential real estate.

Outlays climbed 0.6 percent to a $900.8 billion annual rate, the most since June 2009, after being little changed in June, the Commerce Department reported today in Washington. The median forecast of 51 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for a 0.4 percent increase.

Gains in employment, housing and non-residential building in the second half of the year will probably help strengthen the economic expansion. Nonetheless, tight land inventories, rising mortgage rates may temper the pace of the industry's recovery.