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News Summary: US construction spending up in May

The Associated Press

In this Thursday, May 9, 2013 photo, workmen pour the concrete deck on the east end of the new Interstate 90 bridge under construction in Cleveland. Spending on residential housing rose in May to the highest level in 4½ years, helping to send overall construction spending higher despite a big drop in nonresidential activity. (AP Photo/Mark Duncan)

BUILDUP: Construction spending rose at a faster 0.5 percent rate in May compared with April as spending on residential housing rose to the highest level in 4½ years. That more than offset a big drop in nonresidential activity.

HOT HOUSES: Private residential construction rose 1.2 percent to the highest level since October 2008. That reflected a 0.4 percent increase in new single-family construction and a 2.5 percent jump in multi-family construction. Residential construction spending is 23.1 percent higher than a year ago.

COOL OFFICES AND MALLS: Spending on nonresidential projects fell 1.4 percent, dragged lower by declines in office building and the category that includes shopping centers. Nonresidential construction is 0.9 percent below the level of a year ago.