U.S. Construction Spending Unexpectedly Tumbles 0.9% In March

(RTTNews) - A report released by the Commerce Department on Wednesday showed an unexpected pullback in U.S. construction spending in the month of March.

The report said construction spending slumped by 0.9 percent to an annual rate of $1.282 trillion in March after climbing by 0.7 percent to a revised rate of $1.293 trillion in February. Economists had expected spending to inch up by 0.1 percent.

The unexpected decrease in construction spending was partly due to a steep drop in spending on private residential construction, which plunged by 1.8 percent to a rate of $500.9 billion.

The slump in spending on residential construction more than offset a 0.5 percent increase in spending on private non-residential construction to rate of $460.6 billion, resulting in a 0.7 percent decline in total spending on private construction to a rate of $961.5 billion.

The Commerce Department said spending on public construction also tumbled by 1.3 percent to a rate of $320.7 billion, as spending on educational and highway construction plummeted by 1.5 percent and 1.9 percent, respectively.

Compared to the same month a year ago, total construction spending in March was down by 0.8 percent.

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