News In Brief

Surge in US construction reported for February

Builders spent 6.9 percent more on labor and materials in February than in January, the biggest explosion of construction since the building boom that followed World War II, the Commerce Department said Monday.

The surge was exceptionally strong for office buildings, single-family houses , and apartment buildings, as well as highway and street projects, a beneficiary of last year's additional nickel-a-gallon gasoline tax.

Builders spent $295 billion in February at a seasonally adjusted annual rate, 21.4 percent higher than in February of 1983.

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