Total construction spending increased by 0.7% in October, driven largely by growing demand for power projects and public construction, according to Commerce Department reports.

Private residential investment jumped 2.5% for the month, attributable to a 3.2% advance in new multi-family construction and a 6.2% rise in improvements to existing properties. Single-family construction sank 1.2% for the month.

The Association of General Contractors expressed dismay that the latest data indicated continued weakness in some construction categories, including private nonresidential and single-family construction. “Without any upward trend in key private-sector construction components like homes and office buildings, it is hard to feel optimistic about the near future,” said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist. “With public construction at risk of cutbacks, it is premature to conclude that construction has awakened from its long nightmare.” Read more about the Associated General Contractors take on construction spending.

Have something to say? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.