Construction spending dips 1.7% in March due to drop in government building; up 4.9% annually

Updated Aug 12, 2013

shutterstock_20984158According to data released by the U.S. Commerce Department Wednesday, construction spending dropped 1.7 percent during March to its lowest mark since August 2012.

Following a housing-fueled boost of 1.2 percent in February, construction spending was measured in March at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $856.7 billion.

According to the data, the monthly drop, the sharpest since 2006, was mainly due to a 4.1-percent decline in government spending, measured at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $258.3 billion. That mark is 5.4 percent below where public construction spending was a year ago.

Year-over-year, the overall spending numbers are still positive. When compared to the same time last year, total construction spending in March improved by 4.8 percent.

Home construction spending saw another month of gains as well, growing modestly by 0.7 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $301.6 billion. That’s an improvement of 17.8 percent over the same time last year.

Nonresidential construction spending fell 2.9 percent in March to $555 billion. That spending mark is 1.2 percent below where it was a year ago.