The Commerce Department said on Wednesday that construction spending increased 0.3 percent to $1.22 trillion. But August’s construction outlays were revised down to show a 0.1 percent gain instead of the previously reported 0.5 percent rise.
Economists polled by Reuters had forecast construction spending unchanged in September. Construction spending increased 2.0 percent on a year-on-year basis.
In September, investment on private construction projects fell 0.4 percent after slipping 0.1 percent in August. It was the third straight monthly drop in private construction outlays and reflected a 0.8 percent decline in spending on private nonresidential projects. Spending on nonresidential projects in September was the lowest since April 2016.
Spending on nonresidential structures has now declined for four consecutive months. Spending on oil drilling has been slowing in recent months amid moderate gains in oil prices and ample crude supplies. Spending on residential structures was unchanged in September.
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