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US construction spending weaker than expected in September

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US construction spending fell for a second straight month in September as investment in both private and public projects declined, suggesting the third-quarter growth estimate could be revised lower.

[WASHINGTON] US construction spending fell for a second straight month in September as investment in both private and public projects declined, suggesting the third-quarter growth estimate could be revised lower.

Construction spending dropped 0.4 per cent to an annual rate of US$950.9 billion, the Commerce Department said on Monday. August's construction outlays were revised to show a 0.5 per cent fall instead of the previously reported 0.8 per cent decline.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast construction spending rising 0.7 per cent.

The government last week reported that the economy grew at a 3.5 per cent annual pace. Growth in spending on both residential and nonresidential construction were reported to have slowed from April-June's brisk rates.

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In September, private construction spending dipped 0.1 per cent to its lowest level since October last year as an increase in residential outlays was offset by a decline in spending on nonresidential projects. It was the fourth straight month of declines in private constructions spending.

Spending on public construction projects fell 1.3 per cent in September, with state and local government investment declining 1.4 per cent. Spending on construction projects by the federal government slipped 0.3 per cent, falling for a third consecutive month.

REUTERS

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