Construction Spending Edged Up in May By a Lukewarm 0.4 Percent

In this Wednesday, June 27, 2018, photo, construction continues on a home behind a for sale sign in Waukee, Iowa. On Monday, July 2, the Commerce Department reports on U.S. construction spending in May. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

(CN) — Construction spending rose 0.4 percent in May, the Commerce Department said Monday, but the previously rosy numbers for April were revised significantly lower.

The increase in May pushed construction spending to a seasonally-adjusted $1.31 trillion — 4.5 percent higher than a year ago.

But at the same time the department said the 1.8 percent increase previously reported for April, was off by 0.9 percent.

The original April numbers would have been the largest increase in construction spending in 24 years, and it was particularly good news in light of the previously reported 0.9 percent drop in spending in March.

According to the government, residential projects increased 0.8 percent in May as new single-family home construction rose 0.6 percent and the volatile apartment building sector jumped 1.6 percent.

Meanwhile, spending on public works was  up 0.7 percent for the month and 4.7 percent for the year.

In other economic news, the Institute of Supply Management said Monday that its index of national factory activity jumped to 60.2 in June up from 58.7 in May.

A reading above 50 in the ISM index indicates an expansion in manufacturing, which accounts for about 12 percent of the U.S. economy.

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