US builders spent slightly more in September

WASHINGTON (AP) ? U.S. builders spent slightly more in September on home construction, partially offsetting losses in public schools, roads and government offices.

The Commerce Department says construction spending rose 0.2 percent in September from August to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $787.2 billion. It was the second straight monthly increase.

Still, that’s barely half the $1.5 trillion in spending economists consider healthy. Through first nine months of the year, spending is at $580.9 billion, about 3.5 percent below the same period in 2010.

The biggest gains in September were in private residential construction, which includes single-family homes, apartments and condos. That category increased 0.9 percent.

Public construction projects, which include schools, roads and government offices, fell 0.6 percent last month.