Construction spending is highest in 10 years

U.S. builders boosted spending on construction projects for a second straight month in November, pushing activity to the highest level in more than a decade.

Construction spending rose 0.9 percent in November after a 0.6 percent increase in October, the Commerce Department reported Tuesday. The increase reflected solid gains in home construction, nonresidential building and government construction activity.

The gains pushed total construction to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1.18 trillion, the highest point since April 2006. Economists predict that construction will continue to show gains in 2017, reflecting a strong job market and low unemployment.

For November, the 1 percent rise in residential construction reflected a 1.8 percent rise in single-family construction, which offset a 2.7 percent drop in the apartment construction sector.

The 1 percent rise in nonresidential construction followed a 1.6 percent decline in October. The gains in November were led by a 7 percent jump in hotel and motel construction.

The 0.8 percent advance in government projects reflected a 3.1 percent rise in spending at the federal level and 0.6 percent increase at state and local levels.

— Associated Press

Sentence delayed in bribery conviction

A former transportation official and mentor to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) will not be sentenced in a bribery scheme until March.

David Samson, who once headed the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, admitted pressuring United Airlines to restart a money-losing flight from Newark to South Carolina so he could travel to a weekend home.

Samson was to be sentenced Thursday. No explanation for the postponement was given in court documents Tuesday or by the federal prosecutor’s office.

Samson, who is in his mid-70s, faces up to two years in prison.

In July, he pleaded guilty to a bribery charge and admitted he schemed with a lobbyist to delay approvals on a project sought by United at Newark Liberty International Airport to try to persuade the airline to relaunch the flight.

United discontinued the flight days after Samson resigned from the Port Authority in March 2014. United agreed to pay more than $2 million in civil penalties.

— Associated Press

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