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Home projects sputtered ahead in April

WASHINGTON -- U.S. builders began work on more home-remodeling projects in April. But the increase barely lifted overall construction spending above its lowest level in more than a decade, a sign that the troubled industry remains too weak to help the economy.

Construction spending rose 0.4 percent in April, the Commerce Department reported Wednesday.

The jump in spending on home improvements offset declines in single-family homes and apartment construction. And the slight gain followed a sharp downward revision to the March figures.

The government said spending rose only 0.1 percent for the month, down from its initial estimate of 1.4 percent growth.

-- AP

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