Builders began work on fewer projects in May, led by steep declines in spending on government projects. Construction spending fell to just above its lowest level in more than a decade, evidence that industry remains too weak to boost the economy.
The Commerce Department says construction spending declined 0.6 percent in May to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $757.9 billion. It is barely above an 11-year low hit in February and roughly half the $1.5 trillion pace considered healthy by most economists. Analysts say it could be another four years before construction returns to healthier levels.
Government projects fell 0.8 percent compared to a smaller 0.4 percent decline for private construction projects.