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U.S. construction spending falls in February

·1 min read

WASHINGTON, April 1 (Reuters) - U.S. construction spending fell in February, likely hurt by a cold snap in parts of the country in the middle of the month.

The Commerce Department said on Thursday that construction spending decreased 0.8%. Data for January was revised down to show construction outlays increasing 1.2% instead of 1.7% as previously reported.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast construction spending decreasing 1.0% in February. Construction spending rose 5.3% on a year-on-year basis in February. Construction spending accounts for about 4% of gross domestic product.

Unusually harsh weather in the second half of February, including in Texas and other parts of the densely populated South region, depressed homebuilding, production at factories, orders and shipments of manufactured goods.

A rebound is expected, thanks to massive fiscal stimulus and increased vaccinations against COVID-19. (Reporting by Lucia Mutikani Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)