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U.S. Construction Spending Inches Up Less Than Expected In August

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Construction spending in the U.S. crept up by much less than expected in the month of August, according to a report released by the Commerce Department on Tuesday.

The report said construction spending inched up by 0.1 percent to an annual rate of $1.287 trillion in August after coming in nearly unchanged at a revised July estimate of $1.286 trillion.

Economists had expected construction spending to climb by 0.4 percent compared to the 0.1 percent uptick originally reported for the previous month.

The modest increase in construction spending came as spending on public construction climbed by 0.4 percent to a rate of $332.3 billion in August from $330.8 billion in July.

Spending on educational construction surged up by 1.4 percent to $77.0 billion, while spending on highway construction rose by 0.6 percent to $98.9 billion.

Meanwhile, the report said the annual rate of spending on private construction in September was nearly unchanged from the previous month at $955.0 billion.

Spending on residential construction increased by 0.9 percent to a rate of $507.2 billion, but the jump was offset by a 1.0 percent slump in spending on non-residential construction to a rate of $447.9 billion.

Compared to the same month a year ago, construction spending in August was down by 1.9 percent, with a 4.0 percent nosedive in spending on private construction more than offsetting a 4.6 percent spike in spending on public construction.

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