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U.S. Construction Spending Rises

December 1, 1998

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Construction spending in the United States rose a moderate 0.3 percent in October, the fifth consecutive increase, powered by both commercial and residential building.

Spending advanced to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $665.8 billion, the Commerce Department said today, following an identical 0.3 percent gain in September.

Construction this year has been fueled by the combination of strong economic growth, which has created jobs and pushed incomes higher, and low interest rates, which have increased the spending power of both home shoppers and businesses.

Residential construction increased 0.8 percent to a seasonally adjusted rate of $306.8 billion, with gains in both single-family and apartment construction.

Commercial building rose 0.9 percent to a rate of $168.4 billion. Increases in office and shopping-center construction offset declines in industrial structures and hotels.

Government construction spending decreased 1.5 percent to a rate of $147.3 billion.

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