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.