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U.S. Construction Spending Inches Less Than Expected In July

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A report released by the Commerce Department on Tuesday showed a slight uptick in U.S. construction spending in the month of July following a smaller than previously estimated slump in June.

The Commerce Department said construction spending inched up by 0.1 percent to an annual rate of $1.289 trillion in July after sliding by 0.7 percent to a revised June rate of $1.288 trillion.

Economists had expected construction spending to rise by 0.3 percent compared to the 1.3 percent nosedive originally reported for the previous month.

The uptick in construction spending came as an increase in spending on public construction was partly offset by a dip in spending on private construction.

The report said spending on public construction climbed by 0.4 percent to an annual rate of $325.7 billion, as spending on education construction surged up by 1.6 percent.

On the other hand, spending on private construction edged down by 0.1 percent to a rate of $963.1 billion, with a 0.6 percent increase in spending on residential construction more than offset by a 0.8 percent drop in spending on non-residential construction.

Compared to the same month a year ago, construction spending in July was down by 2.7 percent, as a 4.8 percent slump in spending on private construction more than offset a 4.0 percent jump in spending on public construction.

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