The Commerce Department said Friday that construction spending declined 0.6% to $1.21 trillion. That follows a downwardly revised 1.4% drop in June, according to a Reuters report. It’s also the lowest level since October 2016.
The drop confounded economists, who had forecast a 0.5% increase in construction spending in July, according to Reuters.
Spending on private nonresidential structures fell 1.9% to its lowest level since April of 2016, Reuters reported. That followed a 1.6% plunge in June. Spending on public construction also fell, dropping 0.4% in July after a 0.5% drop in June, Reuters reported.
The federal government’s construction spending fell 1.2% to its lowest level since April of 2016.
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Construction spending took an unexpected nosedive in July, hitting a nine-month low as investment in private structures fell.