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U.S. construction spending hits 3-year high

U.S. construction spending in September rose to a nearly three-year high at an annualized rate of $852 billion, despite the ongoing downturn in public construction, the Associated General Contractors of America said this week.

The AGC, an Arlington, Va.-based trade association, said that, according to federal data, spending on houses, apartments and private, nonresidential projects outweighed the drop in public construction spending.

According to Ken Simonson, AGC’s chief economist, total construction spending rose 7.8 percent from September 2011, bringing spending to the highest level since October 2009.

“It is heartening to see the growth in total spending, but the progress remains fragile and fragmentary,” Simonson said in a press release.

But he added that spending in several construction categories remains lower than in September 2011.

The AGC said it expects the trends in the public and private sectors to continue, despite the disruption created this week by Hurricane Sandy.

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