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News Summary: US builders boost September spending

The Associated Press

CONSTRUCTION UP: U.S. builders spent more on home construction in September, offsetting weakness in nonresidential building and government projects.

THE DETAILS: Construction spending grew 0.6 percent compared to August when spending had fallen 0.1 percent, the Commerce Department said Thursday. Home building rose 2.8 percent. Spending on commercial projects such as office buildings and shopping centers fell 0.1 percent and spending on government projects fell 0.8 percent, the third monthly decline.

THE YEAR: The September increase pushed construction spending to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $851.6 billion, 14.1 percent higher than a 12-year low hit in February 2011. But even with the gain, construction is at roughly half the level considered healthy.