WASHINGTON -- U.S. construction spending inched up to another record high in May as the housing sector continued its strong performance in an otherwise weak economy.

Construction spending rose 0.3% in May, its second consecutive monthly gain, to a record seasonally adjusted annual rate of $881.6 billion from a revised $879.2 billion in April, the U.S. Commerce Department said. The May rate was 8.3% higher than a year ago.

Total May spending on private construction, which includes residential and nonresidential units, fell 1%. Public construction, which includes housing, industrial, educational and other building, rose 4.3%. Spending on residential construction rose 0.3 percent in May, while nonresidential construction spending fell 3.3%.