U.S. 2018 Construction Spending Rises by Least in Seven Years

(Bloomberg) -- U.S. construction spending posted the smallest annual increase since 2011 as homebuilding slowed amid higher borrowing costs and a glut of apartments in some areas.

The value of construction put in place increased 4.1 percent in 2018 to $1.3 trillion, according to a Commerce Department report Monday that was delayed by the government shutdown. For December, spending declined 0.6 percent from the prior month, missing forecasts for a 0.1 percent gain.

The full-year figure reflected a 3.3 percent increase in private residential construction that was the smallest advance since 2011. The category had posted gains of more than 10 percent for six straight years. Within the sector, single-family building was up 5.2 percent while multifamily housing rose 0.7 percent.

Other areas of weakness in construction spending for 2018 included private manufacturing, which fell 1.7 percent. On the positive side, state and local outlays jumped 7.1 percent, the most since 2007.

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