US construction spending fell again in May

WASHINGTON – U.S. construction spending fell for a second month in May, with weakness in all areas of building.

The Commerce Department says construction spending declined 0.8 per cent in May following a 2 per cent plunge in April, which had been the biggest monthly setback in five years.

Spending on housing was flat as a 1.8 per cent advance in apartment construction was offset by a 1.3 per cent fall in single-family activity. Nonresidential construction was down 0.7 per cent, with a contraction in the category that includes shopping centres.

Government activity dropped 2.3 per cent to mark the third straight decline.

The back-to-back declines in overall construction caught analysts by surprise. They had been expecting a rebound following the big drop in April. Economists still expect construction will be a positive for the overall economy.