FILE - In this July 29, 2019, file photo a construction worker carries bars while helping build a scaffolding on the side of a hotel in the Mount Vernon section of Baltimore. On Thursday, Aug. 1, the Commerce Department reports on U.S. construction spending in June. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez, File)

US construction spending drops 1.3% in June

August 01, 2019 - 9:13 am

WASHINGTON (AP) — Spending on U.S. construction projects fell in June by the largest amount in seven months, reflecting weakness in home building, nonresidential construction and the largest drop in government projects in 17 years.

The Commerce Department said Thursday that spending fell 1.3% in June. It followed a 0.5% decline in May and was the biggest drop since a similar 1.3% decline last November.

The weakness in June was widespread. Housing construction decreased 0.5 percent, reflecting continued troubles in homebuilding. Nonresidential construction fell for a third straight month, down 0.3 percent, with declines in such sectors as hospitals, schools and transportation.

Government spending was down 3.7%, the biggest decline since a 6% drop in March 2002. Spending by state and local governments, the largest category, fell 4.1% while federal outlays rose 2.6%.

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