Construction spending falls 0.5% in Feb. despite residential gains

Updated Apr 6, 2016

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Losses in nonresidential construction wiped out gains from homebuilding as total U.S. construction spending fell 0.5 percent in February.

Total spending fell to $1.14 trillion for the month but remains up 10.3 percent over the February 2015 mark, according to preliminary data from the Commerce Department.

Nonresidential spending fell 1.4 percent during the month to $690 billion. The largest percent losses in the sector came from communication, down 15 percent to $18 billion; manufacturing, down 5.9 percent to $78 billion, and conservation and development, down 4.6 percent to $7 billion.

The largest percent gains in nonresidential were office, up 3.8 percent to $62 billion; water supply, up 1.9 percent to $12 billion, and public safety, up 1.8 percent to $8 billion.

Highway and street spending fell 2 percent to $100 billion.

Private residential spending rose 0.9 percent to $448 billion during February. Single-family spending rose 1.2 percent to $235 billion and multi-family rose 0.9 percent to $60 billion.

Total residential spending was up 0.9 percent to $453 billion.

Total private spending fell 0.1 percent to $846 billion and is 10.6 percent above the February 2015 total.

Government spending fell 1.7 percent for the month to $298 billion, up 9.2 percent year over year.