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US construction spending unexpectedly falls in November

[WASHINGTON] US construction spending unexpectedly fell in November, held back by a drop in government outlays and by less money spent by businesses on projects other than homes.

Construction spending fell 0.3 per cent, the first decline since June, to an annual rate of US$975 billion, the Commerce Department said on Friday.

October's construction outlays were revised up to show a 1.2 per cent gain instead of the previously reported 1.1 per cent increase. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast construction spending rising 0.3 per cent in November.

While the readings could point to softer investment by businesses and governments, spending on home construction looked more robust. Outlays on private residential construction rose 0.9 per cent in November.