Construction Spending, Joblessness Claims Up
January 03, 2002
Construction spending in the United States increased for the second month in a row during November, while unemployment increased slightly at the end of the year.
The U.S. Commerce Department released figures showing a 0.8% increase in construction spending during November and a 4.6% increase from the same time a year ago.
The report beat a forecast of analysts polled by Reuters, which predicted a 0.6% increase, while a Bloomberg poll predicted an increase of just 0.2%.
The big gainer for the month was in public construction, increasing 4.6% in November while all private construction fell by 0.5%.
Some analysts are viewing this news, along with figures released Wednesday showing manufacturing activity in the U.S. is increasing, as a sign the economy may be starting to rebound. Than can mean good news for trucking companies that haul construction products and the many products that go into these new buildings.
This optimism, however, may be tempered by the latest unemployment news.
The U.S. Labor Department reported the number of workers filing for first time unemployment benefits rose by 36,000 for the week ending Dec. 29. Some falloff was not totally unexpected, as some companies shed seasonal workers after the end of the holidays.