WASHINGTON – U.S. builders spent less on construction projects in November, the first decline in eight months, as activity was held back by a big drop in spending on federal projects.
The Commerce Department says construction spending dipped 0.3 percent in November compared with October, when spending had risen a revised 0.7 percent. It was the first drop since March.
The November decline left total spending at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $866 billion, 16.1 percent above a 12-year low hit in February 2011. Even with the gain, the level of spending remained only about half of what's considered healthy.
In November, spending on housing increased 0.4 percent, but spending on federal building projects fell 5.5 percent. Spending on nonresidential projects such as office buildings and shopping malls dropped 0.7 percent.