US construction spending slumped in September

U.S. builders cut their spending on construction projects in September, the second straight monthly decline. Much of the decrease came as government spending for schools, sewers and transportation projects tumbled — part of a broader yearlong decline as infrastructure funding has become a key policy issue in the presidential election. The Commerce Department said Oct. 29 that total construction spending fell 0.7 percent in September to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1.15 trillion. Publicly funded construction dropped 0.9 percent to an annual rate of $270.3 billion. Over the past 12 months, government construction has slumped 7.8 percent — a decline equal to nearly $23 billion. Still, there was positive news in the report as construction spending for August and July were revised upward. This led many economists to increase their estimates of third-quarter growth from the annualized 2.9 percent reported recently by the government to 3 percent.

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