New data on construction spending spurred big gains in the stock market on Monday after a Commerce Department showing a 0.8 percent growth in April beat economists' expectations.
Construction spending rose 0.8 percent in April, belying economists' forecasts for a decline.
The unexpected rise in construction spending in April made it the second straight month that builders increased their spending on construction projects around the country, providing hope of a better outlook for related industries including construction equipment.
Private spending on non-residential construction projects rose by 1.8 percent, following a 2.6 percent gain in March. Builders increased spending on projects including hotels and motels, power plants and transportation and communication projects.
Despite public funding in the economic stimulus package, public construction spending decreased by 0.6 percent in April, due to declining spending on construction projects for schools, hospitals and sewer and water infrastructure.
Educational construction was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $89.1 billion, 1.8 percent below the revised March estimate of $90.7 billion. Highway construction was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $79.0 billion, 0.9 percent above the revised March estimate of $78.3 billion.