WASHINGTON – U.S. construction spending fell for a second month in May, with weakness in all areas of building.
The Commerce Department says construction spending declined 0.8 percent in May following a 2 percent plunge in April, which had been the biggest monthly setback in five years.
Spending on housing was flat as a 1.8 percent advance in apartment construction was offset by a 1.3 percent fall in single-family activity. Nonresidential construction was down 0.7 percent, with a contraction in the category that includes shopping centers.
Government activity dropped 2.3 percent to mark the third straight decline.
The back-to-back declines in overall construction caught analysts by surprise. They had been expecting a rebound following the big drop in April. Economists still expect construction will be a positive for the overall economy.