US construction spending was flat in April as housing fell

June 03, 2019 - 9:05 am

WASHINGTON (AP) — Spending on U.S. construction projects was unchanged in April as another decline in home construction was offset by a big gain in government spending on projects like highways and hospitals.

The Commerce Department says the flat reading followed a small increase of 0.1% in March, which was revised higher after an initial estimate showed a sharp decline. Construction spending jumped 1% in February.

The data suggests that Americans cut back on home renovations in April. And spending on new home construction was flat. Higher mortgage rates have weighed on home sales this year, though in recent weeks rates have dropped below 4%, potentially reviving sales.

Public construction jumped 4.8% to reach a record high of $299.4 billion, led by big gains in state and local government and federal spending.

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