U.S construction spending declined for second straight month

Following disappointing numbers in July, U.S. construction spending fell again in August. However, the weak numbers are tempered by strong year-over-year growth of 6.5 percent, according to data released today by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Commerce.

Construction spending reached a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $837 billion in August, a 0.6 percent decline from July’s figure.

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Still, spending on residential construction projects grew 0.9 percent month-over-month — 16.1 percent from August 2011 — while outlays on non-residential building fell 1.3 percent. The residential growth came on the heels of a nearly 1 percent increase in spending on home improvements, as new single-family building and new multi-family spending rose by 2.8 percent and 20.8 percent, respectively, on a monthly basis. Total residential spending reached $279.8 billion inAugust and non-residential slipped to $557.2 billion.

Private construction accounted for $562.2 billion of the adjusted annual total, which was 0.5 percent less than July’s estimate. [U.S. Census Bureau] — Christopher Cameron