Builders began work on more home-remodeling projects in April. But increase barely lifted construction spending above its lowest level in more than a decade, a sign that the troubled industry remains too weak to help the economy.
The Commerce Department says construction spending rose 0.4 percent in April. The strength came from a big percent jump in spending on home improvement projects, which helped offset declines in single-family and multi-family construction.
The overall increase followed a tiny 0.1 percent rise in March and pushed construction spending to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $765 billion. That was up just 0.5 percent from an 11-year low of $761 billion hit in February.