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Residential construction spending rose modestly in March from February, but continued its trend of year-to-year growth.

The Commerce Department reported Tuesday that the seasonally adjusted annual measure rose 0.7% to $251.2 billion from $249.5 billion a month earlier. But without the downward revision from initial February readings of $253.5 billion, the measure actually fell by about $2.3 billion.

Residential construction increased 6.5% from $235.8 billion in March 2011.

Private residential construction contributed much of that growth. That measure rose 7.4% on a yearly basis to $244.1 billion in March, as new multifamily projects grew 23.3% to $16.6 billion.

Public housing construction grew 1.4% from February to $7.1 billion, reversing a trend from previous months, but still plummeted 17% from March 2011.

Total construction spending rose to $808.1 billion from a downwardly revised $807.3 billion estimate for February. The Commerce Department initially reported that total at $808.9 billion.

Per nonresidential segments, manufacturing and power far outpaced other industries, up 39.6% and 19.2% from March 2011, respectively.



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