WASHINGTON, (Reuters) - U.S. construction spending rose more quickly than expected in October as public construction outlays surged and investment in private projects increased for the first time in four months.
The Commerce Department said on Friday that construction spending increased 1.4 percent to $1.24 trillion, the swiftest advance in five months.
Economists polled by Reuters had forecast construction spending to increase 0.5 percent. Construction spending increased 2.9 percent on a year-on-year basis.
Outlays on public construction projects jumped 3.9 percent, the largest gain since 2014. Spending on state and local government construction projects climbed 3.3 percent. Federal government construction spending soared 11.1 percent.
Investment on private construction projects increased 0.6 percent after slipping 0.2 percent in September. Spending had also declined in August and July.
Spending on nonresidential structures rose 0.9 percent, snapping four consecutive months of declines in a positive sign for business investment.
Reporting by Jason Lange; Editing by Andrea Ricci