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US construction spending falls again

US construction spending fell again in August, official figures have shown

The Department of Commerce estimated construction investment during August at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $837.1 billion (£520bn).

This was 0.6 per cent below the revised rate for July and represents a sustained slowing of construction work.

Private housebuilding continued to buck the trend, with spending up 0.9 per cent; but private non-residential work was down 1.7 per cent.

Overall private construction spending was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $562.2bn, down 0.5 per cent from July.

Public construction spending was estimated at $274.9bn in August, 0.8 per cent down on the previous month.

The education sector was responsible for the biggest damages, down a disappointing 3.4 per cent from July.

It was not all bad news though for the struggling US industry.

The overall August spending figure was 6.5 per cent higher than in the same month a year earlier, and design surveys suggest an upturn is on the way.

The American Institute of Architects’ (AIA) Architectural Billings Index recorded a score of 50.2 in August, where anything above 50 represents an improvement from the previous month.

This represented an increase in design work for the first time in five months – something that may take time to be translated into construction data.


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