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Construction spending flatlines in May as homebuilding declines

Residential construction shrank 1.5% from April

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Construction spending flat-lined in May, rising a statistically insignificant 0.1%, far below analyst expectations, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Outlays increased 0.1% after an 0.8% rise in April (originally up 0.2%). May fell short of market expectations with a 0.5% gain.

Homebuilding took a big hit, with private residential spending falling 1.5% after rising 0.5% the month before.

Click on the graphic to enlarge.

Weakness for this component was in both new one-family outlays and multifamily outlays. 

The meager overall rise in May was led by a 1.1% boost in private nonresidential spending, following a 0.1% increase the month before. Public spending rose 1% after a 2.1% jump in April.

Overall, construction spending averaged over the last two months is on a moderate uptrend.

April's upward revision points to improvement in the construction components of second quarter GDP.

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