Outlays for construction projects fell 0.7% in August to $1.78 trillion, the Commerce Department reported Thursday. Wall Street was expecting a drop of 0.2%. Spending in July fell a revised 0.6% to $1.79 trillion, up from the prior estimate of a 0.4% drop.
Over the past year, construction spending is still up 8.5%. Total private construction fell 0.6% in August. Private residential construction fell 0.9%, while private nonresidential spending fell 0.1%. Total public construction fell 0.8%%. Residential public construction fell 2.7% while nonresidential public construction fell 0.8% last month. “The figures were weak, but I had already penciled in some very negative estimates for Q3,” Stephen Stanley, chief economist at Amherst Pierpont, wrote in a note. The Dow Jones Industrial Index
and Nasdaq Composite
were all up in early trading on Monday.