WASHINGTON – U.S. construction spending fell a more-than-expected 1 percent in October led by a seventh straight drop in private residential building and adding evidence to a weak housing sector, a government report said on Friday.
Analysts polled by Reuters had predicted a smaller, 0.3 percent drop in overall construction spending in October. Compared to a year ago, total spending was up 0.5 percent, according to the Commerce Department.
Other reports on the housing sector have noted declining sales and rising inventories.
In October, housing starts fell 14.6 percent.
The overall drop was driven by a 1.9 percent decline in private residential construction and a 1.5 percent drop in private construction. October saw the sixth straight dip in private construction.
Public construction, namely government building projects, rose 0.8 percent to an all-time high of $273 billion. Federal construction saw an 11.6 percent boost in spending.
Construction spending in September was revised to down 0.8 percent from a previously reported drop of 0.3 percent.