updated 3/1/2006 11:09:15 AM ET 2006-03-01T16:09:15

The Commerce Department said Wednesday U.S. construction spending rose just 0.2 percent in January. It is the weakest increase in seven months and below the increase analysts had forecast.

But the modest increase put the total level of construction spending at a new record, a seasonally adjusted annual rate of more than $1.1 trillion.

One reason for the slowing pace of growth was a 0.1 percent increase in private home building, well below December's pace. Economists believe housing, which has been setting sales records for five straight years, will slow this year. Sales of both new and previously owned homes fell in January despite the unusually warm weather.

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