U.S. construction spending ticked up just 0.1% in July, aided by government spending on schools, sewers and the water supply.
The Commerce Department said Tuesday that spending on construction projects in July occurred at a seasonally adjusted annual pace of $1.29 trillion. So far this year, construction spending has tumbled 2.1%, dragged down by a sharp pullback in expenditures for homebuilding.
Construction for single-family houses picked up 1.4% in July, a possible response to lower mortgage rates. But private spending on the building of apartments, lodging and commercial spaces fell. Overall, private construction spending slipped 0.1%
Government spending accounted for July’s increase, as construction spending rose 0.4%. State and local governments accounted for most of the gains as spending on school construction rose. But federal construction spending fell 2.4%.