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Construction spending topped analyst expectations for November, accelerating 1.2% against predictions for growth of 0.4%.The headline figure came in at an annualized rate of $807.1 billion, above a revised October estimate of $797.4 billion.
Private construction gained 1.0% on the month, to an annual rate of $522.3 billion.
Spending across all categories gained, with residential and highway construction up 2.0% and 1.9%, respectively.
However, for the first 11 months of the year, spending was 2.5% below 2010 levels. For the period, $724.8 billion has been spent on construction, compared to $743.6 billion for the same period one year ago. The hardest hit categories included lodging, religious, and conservation developments, all down more than 19.0%.
Construction firms are rallying on the news. Below are a handful of companies up more than 3% in the first hour of trading:
- KBR, Inc. (NYSE: KBR): Up 3.4%
- Fluor Corporation (NYSE: FLR): Up 4.3%
- The Shaw Group (NYSE: SHAW): Up 3.3%