U.S. construction spending fell a slim 0.6 percent in November, the Commerce Department reported, showing that building at the end of 2008 was stronger than Wall Street had expected.
Analysts polled by Reuters had anticipated the drop to be a much steeper 1.3 percent.
October's change was also revised to down 0.4 percent from the originally reported drop of 1.2 percent.
Still, private residential construction, which makes up roughly a third of total spending, fell a sharp 4.2 percent to $328 billion, the lowest annual rate since August 1999.
Public spending, on the other hand, increased 1.4 percent.
Federal building was up 6 percent and state and local gained 1 percent.
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