U.S. Construction Spending Pulls Back Less Than Expected In February

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After reporting sharp increases in U.S. construction spending over the past few months, the Commerce Department released a report on Thursday showing a pullback in construction spending in the month of February.

The Commerce Department said construction spending fell by 0.8 percent to an annual rate of $1.517 trillion in February after jumping by 1.2 percent to a revised rate of $1.529 trillion in January. Economists had expected construction spending to slump by 1.0 percent.

The pullback in construction spending was partly due to a steep drop in spending on public construction, which tumbled by 1.7 percent to a rate of $351.2 billion.

Spending on educational construction plunged by 3.2 percent to a rate of $86.9 billion, while spending on highway construction slid by 0.6 percent to a rate of $102.3 billion.

The report also showed a pullback in spending on private construction, which fell by 0.5 percent to a rate of $1.166 trillion.

Spending on residential construction edged down by 0.2 percent to a rate of $717.9 billion, while spending on non-residential construction slumped by 1.0 percent to a rate of $447.8 billion.

Despite the monthly decrease, total construction spending in February was up by 5.3 percent compared to the same month a year ago.

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