US Construction Spending Dips 0.3 Percent
U.S. builders spent less on construction projects in November, the first decline in eight months, as activity was held back by a big drop in spending on federal projects.
Construction spending dipped 0.3 percent in November compared with October, when spending had risen a revised 0.7 percent, the Commerce Department said Wednesday. The November decline was the first drop since March.
It left total spending at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $866 billion, which is 16.1 percent above a 12-year low hit in February 2011. Even with the gain, the level of spending remained only about half of what’s considered healthy.
In November, spending on housing increased 0.4 percent, but spending on federal building projects fell 5.5 percent. Spending on nonresidential projects such as office buildings and shopping malls dropped 0.7 percent.
The weakness in nonresidential activity reflected declines in construction of office buildings, hotels and the category that includes shopping centers.
Overall government spending dipped 0.4 percent. That reflected the big decline in federal projects and a small 0.1 percent rise in spending on state and local projects.