Under the Hood of U.S. Construction Outlays Is More Highway Work

Here’s one key takeaway from the Commerce Department’s report Tuesday on construction spending. Outlays surged a greater-than-expected 1.5 percent in January after an upwardly revised 0.6 percent advance (prior was 0.1 percent) a month earlier -- a combination that will help spur first-quarter gross domestic product.

* January gain was biggest since May and brought the value of construction put in place to highest level since October 2007 * Government-funded construction projects jumped 4.5 percent, the most since October 2014, led by a surge in work on highways and streets * Value of public construction is highest since September 2010 * Private construction was up 0.5 percent, reflecting a 1 percent rebound in nonresidential projects that included more work on power plants and factories. Homebuilding was little changed