Manufacturing rises, but construction spending dips

U.S. construction spending fell in February by the largest amount in three months. Weakness in nonresidential construction and government offset the strongest month for home construction in more than eight years.

Construction spending was expected to rise 0.1 percent in February, after a 1.5 percent rise the prior month, according to Thomson Reuters consensus estimates.

The Commerce Department says construction spending fell 0.5 percent in February following a 2.1 percent January gain. Spending declines on construction of factories, communication facilities and other nonresidential activities fell by 1.3 percent in February. Sending on government projects was down 1.7 percent.

Those declines offset a solid 0.9 percent rise in home construction, which pushed that sector to the highest point since October 2007.

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Home construction has been a bright spot for the economy, growing at a sizzling 10.1 percent rate in the fourth quarter. Analysts are forecasting housing will remain strong this year.

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— Reuters contributed to this report.

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