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US construction rose to six-year high last month

US construction spending made its largest gain in a year in September, the Commerce Department said yesterday, bolstered by a record pace in public construction and the biggest increase in private residential building in more than six years.<br /><br />The Commerce Department said spending on construction projects rose 0.8 per cent to $940.3bn (&pound;573bn), after dropping 0.1 per cent in August. Spending originally was reported as rising 0.8 per cent in August. Analysts had expected spending to fall by 0.2 per cent.<br /><br />Public construction, fueled by billions of dollars of capital works spending in the US economic stimulus plan, rose 1.3 per cent to $326.4bn, an all-time high, after falling 1.1 per cent in August. <br /><br />Home building rose 3.9 per cent, its largest gain since rising 4.2 per cent in July 2003, in a sign that strength may be returning to the devastated housing market.