Builders keep retrenching

Peter Coy

Here's what Global Insight economist Patrick Newport says about today's data on July construction spending:

Construction spending fell 1.2% in July. The deteriorating housing market accounted for most of the drop.
Private residential spending fell 2.0%, while private nonresidential spending edged up 0.3%. Public construction spending fell 0.7%.
The downturn in housing starts accounted for the 3.0% drop in single-family residential construction. This category will continue to drop until housing starts stabilize.
Nonresidential construction posted its 11th monthly increase in 12 months. Public construction fell for the first time in 10 months.
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