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First Cut: Construction spending up for a fifth month in a row in November

The value of new construction was up 0.6% in November, a fifth straight month of increases. The increase reflected the strength in new residential construction (up 1.8%) where nonresidential construction spending declined (down 0.3%). Spending on all private construction was up 0.4% with private residential spending was up 1.9%.

Construction of private single-family homes rose 1.2% in the month, extending a string of moderate increases. Spending on private multi-family units was flat in November from October. Spending on home improvement — calculated as private residential spending less that for single- and multi-family units — gained 3.4% in November. Some of this may have been preparation for or repair after early winter storms in the month. But it is also consistent with homeowners investing in their property for comfort and/or sale.

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