Residential construction was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of about $649.9 billion in January, or 0.1 percent above the revised December estimate and 6.5 percent above the January 2005 rate, the U.S. Census Bureau of the Department of Commerce announced today.

Total construction spending during January 2006 was estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of about $1.16 trillion, or 0.2 percent above the revised December estimate and 7.4 percent above the January 2005 estimate.

The seasonally adjusted annual rate is a projection of a monthly total over a 12-month period, adjusted for seasonal variations in construction activity.

Spending on private construction was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of about $906.9 billion, or 0.2 percent above the revised December estimate and 6.3 percent above the January 2005 rate.

Private nonresidential construction was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of about $257 billion in January, or 0.5 percent above the revised December estimate.

The estimated seasonally adjusted annual rate of public construction spending was about $256.5 billion, or 0.2 percent above the revised December estimate, the agencies reported.

Educational construction was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of about $67.6 billion, or 0.8 percent below the revised December estimate; highway construction was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of about $68.9 billion, or 0.9 percent above the revised December estimate.

The agencies reported that month-to-month changes in seasonally adjusted statistics can show irregular movements. It may take two months to establish an underlying trend for total construction and as long as eight months for specific categories of construction, according to the announcement.

Statistics are estimated from several sources and surveys and are subject to sampling variability as well as non-sampling error including bias and variance from response, non-reporting, and under-coverage. Statistics for the current month are preliminary estimates subject to revision.

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