U.S. Construction Spending Fell 1.4% in April

By Ben Leubsdorf Features Dow Jones Newswires

Spending on construction across the U.S. dropped in April following three consecutive monthly gains.

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Total U.S. construction spending decreased 1.4% from the prior month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1.219 trillion in April, the Commerce Department said Thursday. It was the first decline since December and the steepest drop in a year.

Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had expected a 0.5% increase in April. But spending for March was revised up, to a 1.1% increase from a prior estimate of down 0.2%.

In the first four months of 2017, total spending rose 5.8% compared with the same period a year earlier. Private construction was up 9.2% from 2016, including a 12.1% rise in residential-construction spending, while overall public construction was down 5.2% year-to-date. The data wasn't adjusted for inflation.

The Commerce Department's latest report on construction spending can be accessed at https://www.census.gov/construction/c30/pdf/release.pdf.

Write to Ben Leubsdorf at ben.leubsdorf@wsj.com

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(END) Dow Jones Newswires

June 01, 2017 10:21 ET (14:21 GMT)