Residential construction spending dropped in February, with home improvement spending leading the decline, after an unexpected increase in January.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s February Construction Report, private residential construction dropped 3.8 percent to $228.5 billion in February. All sectors had a decline in spending that month. Home improvement spending dropped the most, falling 5.6 percent to $109.8 billion, reversing much of its gains from January. Single-family and multi-family spending followed, with 1.7 percent and 1.5 percent drops, respectively.
The general housing market depression—low numbers in new and existing home sales and low home prices—caused the drop in spending, the National Association of Home Builders  reported. Bad weather and heavy snowfall in February also were a cause.
According to the report, total U.S. construction spending was down 1.4 percent to $760.6 billion, the lowest since October 1999.