Construction Spending Fell in January

An unexpected slump


Construction spending in the U.S. unexpectedly fell in January following the biggest back-to-back gain in a year, reflecting a slump in nonresidential and government projects.

Outlays dropped 2.1 percent, the biggest decrease since July 2011, to a $883.3 billion annual rate, a Commerce Department report showed today in Washington. The median forecast of 45 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for a 0.4 percent rise. Figures for December and November were revised up to show gains of 1.1 percent and 1.9 percent respectively, the best performance since the same two months in 2011.