By Aarthi Swaminathan
Outlays for construction projects fell 0.7% in August to $1.78 trillion, the Commerce Department reported Thursday.
Wall Street was expecting a drop of 0.2%.
Spending in July fell a revised 0.6% to $1.79 trillion, up from the prior estimate of a 0.4% drop.
Over the past year, construction spending is still up 8.5%.
Total private construction fell 0.6% in August. Private residential construction fell 0.9%, while private nonresidential spending fell 0.1%.
Total public construction fell 0.8%%. Residential public construction fell 2.7% while nonresidential public construction fell 0.8% last month.
“The figures were weak, but I had already penciled in some very negative estimates for Q3,” Stephen Stanley, chief economist at Amherst Pierpont, wrote in a note.
The Dow Jones Industrial Index /zigman2/quotes/210598065/realtime DJIA +0.82% , S&P 500 /zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime SPX +0.59% and Nasdaq Composite /zigman2/quotes/210598365/realtime COMP +0.55% were all up in early trading on Monday.