WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. construction spending dropped 1.7 percent in March, the biggest setback in 11 months, with weakness in a number of sectors including the biggest plunge in home building in nine years.
The Commerce Department says that the March decline was the first monthly drop since last July and the biggest contraction since a 1.8 percent fall in April 2017. Spending on residential construction was down 3.5 percent, the worst showing since a 4.2 percent decline in April 2009.
Spending on nonresidential projects fell 0.4 percent, with office buildings and commercial projects such as shopping centers both down. Spending on government projects was unchanged from the previous month. A 2.2 percent rise in spending by the federal government offset a 0.3 percent dip in state and local projects.