WASHINGTON, DC-The latest construction spending figures showthat activity rebounded strongly in April, with a 2.7% increasefrom the previous month. That represents $23 billion, to aseasonally adjusted annual rate of $869 billion.

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Gains were primarily driven by private residential construction(up 4.4% ) and public construction (up 2.4% ) -- also private nonresidential increased significantly by 1.7%.

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According to the Associated General Contractors of America, thegood news that can be distilled from these figures is that thestimulus is beginning to show tangible impact. The bad news is thatit is just about the only driver of activity now.

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The stimulus helped both residential and non residentialconstruction, Ken Simonson, chief economist for the constructiontrade association, tells GlobeSt.com. "The impact of the home buyertax credit seemed to have jumpstarted single family housingconstruction and it remains to be seen if that will continue nowthat the tax credit is over."

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In the non residential category, he noted, funding first hithighway construction projects. Most of the contracts, though, werenot awarded until late last year or early this year. "We will seethe benefits continue through 2010."

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That said, there are no other signs of a pickup inactivity outside of the stimulus activity, Simonson said.

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"I have long been expecting private power construction would bea good category this year. Other than that, though, thedeveloper financed categories are still very weak."

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