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Construction spending up slightly

WASHINGTON -- U.S. construction spending posted a slight increase in February, as a rebound in construction of hotels and other nonresidential buildings offset a decline in housing.

But activity was still being depressed by the harsh winter.

The Commerce Department said construction spending increased a scant 0.1 percent in February after a 0.2 percent drop in January.

The increase left construction at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $945.7 billion, 8.7 percent above the level of a year ago.

The small increase in February came from a 1.2 percent advance in nonresidential projects, led by a 3.5 percent rise in construction of hotels and motels.

Spending on government projects edged up 0.1 percent, helped by a big gain at the federal level.

Residential construction dropped 0.8 percent, the biggest setback since July.

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