Outlays for construction projects rose 0.2% in November to $1.81 trillion, the Commerce Department reported Tuesday.
Wall Street was expecting a drop of 0.4%.
Spending in October fell a revised 0.2% to $1.8 trillion, up from the prior estimate of a 0.3% drop.
Over the past year, construction spending was still up 8.5%.
Total private construction rose 0.3% in November. Private residential construction fell 0.5%, with single-family construction dropping by 2.9%. Private nonresidential spending rose by 1.7%.
Total public construction fell by 0.1%. Residential public construction fell by 0.1%, while nonresidential public construction also fell by 0.1% last month.