WASHINGTON-- Spending on construction projects increased by 1.9% in October, the biggest monthly gain since January, the Commerce Department recently reported.

The increase, which pushed building activity up to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $863.5 billion, surpassed analysts’ expectations.

In September, construction spending had dropped by 0.7% following a 0.5% August decline.

The rebound in activity was widespread, with spending for new homes, apartments, office buildings and government projects all showing increases in October.

The 1.9% increase in October was the biggest monthly advance since a 2.5% rise in January. Spending for residential projects rose 1.3% to an annual rate of $398.6 billion following a 0.9% drop in September. The increase reflected gains in spending for single-family homes and apartments.

Spending on nonresidential projects was up 1.8% to an annual rate of $199.6 billion after a 2.8% September decline. Construction of office buildings posted a 4.5% rise, helping to offset declines in spending on new factories and hotels.

Government building projects recorded a 3.4% rise in October to a record annual rate of $205.2 billion following a 2.9% increase in activity the previous month. The gains in the government sector included a strong 9.9% jump in school construction.