Construction drops 0.9%

July 02, 1991|By Michael DuVally | Michael DuVally,Knight-Ridder Financial News

WASHINGTON -- A fall in private construction was only partially offset by a rise in public construction, causing U.S. construction spending to fall 0.9 percent in May to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $403.1 billion.

This followed a revised 1.2 percent increase in April to $406.6 billion, the Commerce Department said yesterday. Commerce earlier reported April construction spending up 0.8 percent.

The May rate was 10.6 percent below the year-earlier level.

The May spending pace in 1987 dollars was down 1.0 percent from April to a seasonally adjusted $361.2 billion, 11.4 percent below the year-earlier level.

Private construction in May was estimated at an annual rate of $293.8 billion, down 1.5 percent from April's revised rise of 1.7 percent. April was earlier reported up 1.3 percent from March.

Private residential construction rose 2.3 percent in May to an annual rate of $155.0 billion, after a revised 0.6 percent fall in April, previously reported down 0.5 percent.

Private non-residential construction fell 7.3 percent to a rate of billion, down from a revised 4.9 percent April rise. April was originally reported up 4.4 percent.

Within the non-residential sector, the steepest decline was recorded in industrial building, down 13.1 percent. The strongest area was educational buildings, which were unchanged.

May public construction moved up 1.0 percent to a rate of $109.3 billion, after a revised 0.4 percent decrease in April, originally reported down 0.2 percent.

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