U.S. Construction Spending Drops in April

Washington, D.C.– U.S. construction spending fell in April as public sector building softened and the housing market continued to drop, the Commerce Department said Monday.A separate gauge of the manufacturing sector indicated that it is still struggling, according to The Wall Street Journal.Total construction spending declined by 0.4 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1.121 trillion in April. The March spending numbers were revised from 1.1 percent to 0.6 percent.April’s 0.4 percent outlay decline was slightly smaller than expected, the Journal said. Residential construction spending fell 2.1 percent to $442.6 billion. In March, spending dropped by 3 percent, less than the originally reported 4.6 percent.Residential spending was 20.8 percent lower year-to-year as of last month.In April, non-residential construction spending grew 0.7 percent, but total private-sector building fell by 0.5 percent to $823.8 billion. The Institute For Supply Management’s manufacturing index showed a slight rise from 48.6 in April to 49.6 in May. A reading of 50 indicates expansion.