SPENDING RISES: U.S. builders increased their spending on construction projects 1.4 percent in October, the biggest increase since May.
HOMES DRIVE GAINS: Spending on housing construction jumped 3 percent to drive the overall gain. Spending for non-residential projects, such as hotels and shopping centers, rose only 0.3 percent, while government projects increased 0.8 percent.
OUTLOOK: Construction spending climbed to an annual rate of $872.1 billion in October, nearly 17 percent above its low hit in February 2011. But even with the gain, it remains at just half the level considered healthy.