The US Commerce Department has revealed that spending in the construction sector edged up by 0.1% in February, amid an abrupt decline in investment in public construction projects.
This growth in construction spending for the month of February was less than expected by leading economists polled by Reuters who had forecast outlay to accelerate by 0.5%.
Amongst the biggest declines in spending were federal government construction projects, which plunged by 11.9%, and public construction projects which fell by 2.1%, undoing the 2.3% rise observed in January.
However, spending in the industry did increase by 3% on a year-on-year basis, and was marginally higher than total spending in January, which was unchanged from December 2017.
Elsewhere, spending on private construction projects increased 0.7% and outlays on private residential projects edged up 0.1% to the highest level since January 2007.
February’s marginal increase in construction spending could impact Q1 GDP growth estimates, which are mostly below a 2% annualised rate.