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US construction spending drops 0.9% as housing takes a hit

Paul Wiseman, AP Economics Writer

FILE - In this April 9, 2019, file photo a worker walks along the a structure being built for the NFL Draft in Nashville, Tenn. On Wednesday, May 1, the Commerce Department reports on U.S. construction spending in March. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. construction spending dropped in March or the first time in four months, and spending on U.S. home construction fell to the lowest level in more than two years.

The Commerce Department says construction spending — including housing, nonresidential and government building projects — fell 0.9% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1.28 trillion after rising 0.7% in both January and February.

Residential construction spending skidded 1.8% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $500.9 billion, lowest since December 2016.

Public construction dropped 1.3% to $320.7 billion in March.

Home building has wobbled but is expected to rebound as the Federal Reserve backs off on plans to hike interest rates this year.