WASHINGTON (AP) — Spending on U.S. construction projects fell in May, the first drop in six months, as home building fell for a fifth straight month.
The Commerce Department says spending fell 0.8% in May, the first decline since a 1.3% drop in November, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1.29 trillion. Spending In April was revised up from a flat reading to a small gain of 0.4%.
The weakness in May was widespread with spending on single-family homes and apartments down 0.6% while nonresidential construction fell 0.9%. Spending on government projects also dropped 0.9%, led by a by decline in construction spending by the federal government.
Spending on residential construction has been weak for a number of months but builders are hopeful that declining mortgage rates will spur a rebound.