U.S. private construction will grow this year for the first time since 2005, and will be an important driver of gross domestic product growth and job creation in the coming year, according to a report by investment firm AllianceBernstein.

In the report, U.S. economist Joseph Carson predicted private construction spending this year will reach nearly $10 billion, based on data available from the first three quarters of 2011.

“We believe that the small gain marks a significant turn for the U.S. economy,” Carson said, adding that in 2012, real private construction activity will expand by around seven percent.

According to the report, this year's rise in construction spending was driven by nonresidential, rather than residential, construction.

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