08/01/2011 10:07 EDT | Updated 10/01/2011 05:12 EDT

Construction spending shows third monthly gain in June but remains at depressed levels

WASHINGTON - Builders began work on more office buildings, shopping centres and hotels in June, pushing construction spending higher for a third straight month. But even with the gains, activity remains at depressed levels.

The Commerce Department says construction spending rose 0.2 per cent in June to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $772.3 billion. That put overall spending just 1.2 per cent higher than the 11-year low hit in March. It is just half of the $1.5 trillion pace considered healthy by most economists.