Construction spending rises unexpectedly

Construction spending rises unexpectedly

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WASHINGTON (AP) -- Construction spending rose for the second time in three months in June as residential building increased, fresh evidence that the housing sector may be recovering.

The Commerce Department says construction spending increased by a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 0.3 percent in June, defying analysts' estimates of a 0.5 percent drop. Still, construction spending of $965.7 billion is 10.2 percent below the year-ago level.

Residential construction rose at a 0.5 percent rate after dropping 3.1 percent in May.

The data follow reports earlier this month that new and existing home sales each rose in June, and new home construction jumped by the largest amount in eight years.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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