Economists polled by Reuters had forecast a 0.5
percent increase in construction outlays in March.
Gains in construction spending were tempered by a 0.6 percent
fall in outlays on public construction. Public construction
spending hit its lowest level since November 2006.
That reflected a 2.4 percent decline in spending by the federal
government. State and local government spending fell 0.4
percent, dropping for a fifth straight month.
In contrast, spending on private construction projects rose 0.5
percent in March to the highest level since December 2008.
Private residential construction hit its highest level since May
2008, reflecting gains in both single and multi-family home
building. The gains also reflected the impact of remodeling
The housing market recovery has stalled since interest rates
started rising last year and investment in home building
contracted in the first three months of this year for a second
Spending on nonresidential construction projects, which include
factories and office building, rose 0.2 percent in March.
(Reporting by Lucia Mutikani; editing by Paul Simao)
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