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US sees construction spending drops

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US construction spending has fallen, according to official figures

Data from the Department of Commerce showed a seasonally adjusted $834.4billion (£524billion) was spent on construction in July.

This was 0.9 per cent lower than in June as the misery continued for architects across the Atlantic. Private spending dropped by 1.2 per cent to $558.7bn, with private housing and non-housing work both down on June.

Public spending fell by 0.4 per cent to $275.7bn, with education and highways spending both lower than in the previous month.

AJ reported last month that architecture firms have suffered disproportionately from the built environment downturn.

The 2012 American Institute of Architects Firm Survey showed billings dropped by 41 per cent from 2009 to 2011.

This was well in excess of the 26 per cent drop in the construction industry as a whole, and came despite a 6 per cent rise in the performance of the US economy.

Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors economist Himanshu Wani said home sales provided a chink of light at the end of the tunnel.

‘New home sales continue to show a strong upward trend from extremely low levels,’ he said.

‘The rising trend in sales should continue to boost new construction in the months ahead, especially against the backdrop of rising house prices and lean inventories of unsold new homes.’

However, he warned it would take a long time for the construction industry to recover 1.5 million jobs lost during the recession

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