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US construction spending down 1.3% in February

The American flag flutters in the wind behind a roofer working on Tuesday on the roof of a building under construction in Sacramento, California., The U.S. Department of Commerce reported Wednesday that construction spending fell 1.3% in February.. (TAP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

The American flag flutters in the wind behind a roofer working on Tuesday on the roof of a building under construction in Sacramento, California. The U.S. Department of Commerce reported Wednesday that construction spending fell 1.3% in February. (TAP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

By MARTIN CRUTSINGER
AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — Spending on U.S. construction projects fell 1.3% in February with housing and nonresidential construction both showing weakness even before the coronavirus struck with force in the United States.

The Commerce Department said Wednesday that the decline in February followed a 2.8% rise in construction in January. Economists are forecasting more declines to come, especially in housing as the stay-at-home orders in much of the country crimp home sales.

Home construction fell 0.6% in February, with weakness showing up especially in home-remodeling projects. The construction of single-family homes and apartments both showed gains.

Spending on nonresidential projects was down 2% with declines for office buildings, hotels and the category that includes shopping centers.

Government spending, on state and local building projects and federal projects, dropped 1.5%.

The various changes left total construction spending at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1.37 trillion, up 6% from a year ago.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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