Construction spending sees third straight month of gains

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National construction spending rose 0.4 percent in November, according to Census Bureau data released this week.

It was the third consecutive month of gains.

Private and residential public construction saw the largest spike in spending, with 0.7-percent increases over October. Private non-residential construction fell 0.1-percent month over month.

While this may be good news on paper, Associated General Contractors of America economist Ken Simonson said it does not indicate a full-blown recovery.

“It is heartening to see three increases in a row for the total,” he said in a prepared statement. “But most categories showed more of a seesaw pattern over the past three months, indicating that construction spending remains fragile at best.”

Simonson expects “power construction” in wind turbines and other renewable facilities to improve in 2011 due to tax credits. However he forecasts a dip in public construction as stimulus projects are phased-out.

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