[WASHINGTON] US construction spending fell for a second straight month in May after the biggest drop in more than five years in April, which could prompt economists to lower their second-quarter growth estimates.
Construction spending was down 0.8 per cent after a downwardly revised 2.0 per cent drop in April, the Commerce Department said on Friday. The revised April drop was the largest since Jan 2011.
Economists polled by Reuters had forecast construction spending rising 0.6 per cent after a previously reported April drop of 1.8 per cent. May construction outlays were up 2.8 per cent from a year earlier.
May construction spending was held down by a 2.3 per cent drop in public construction spending. Outlays on state and local construction projects, the largest of the public sector segment, tumbled 3.0 per cent, while federal construction spending rose 7.5 per cent.
Private construction spending fell by 0.3 per cent after a downwardly revised 1.9 per cent fall in April. Outlays on private residential construction were flat, while spending on private nonresidential construction was down 0.7 per cent.