Construction spending up 17 percent

Private commercial construction spending was up 17 percent nationally year-over-year in January, according to a report from the Associated General Contractors of America.

Construction spending in January totaled $827 billion.

While year-over-year construction spending was up across all sectors, spending slipped slightly in most construction categories in January, according to the report. Despite those declines, overall trends are positive.

“Reports from the 12 Federal Reserve Districts suggest that overall economic activity continued to increase at a modest to moderate pace in January and early February,” the Fed reported on Wednesday in its latest Beige Book, a summary of informal soundings of businesses in each district.

Auto manufacturers in the Richmond, Atlanta, St. Louis and Minneapolis areas announced plans to expand and open new plants. Contacts in the health care industry also announced plans to increase construction spending in the St. Louis and Minneapolis areas.