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First Cut: Construction spending down in March, likely on wintry weather

Late winter storms probably helped keep construction spending in check in March. Total spending was down 0.9% after two months of modest increases. Residential construction was particularly hard hit (down 1.8%) while nonresidential was less so (down 0.3%).

Private construction spending for single-family residences was down 1.5% in March, while multi-unit construction spending was up 0.7%. The calculation for spending on home improvement — private residential less single- and multi- units — was down 3.1% as consumers were waiting to get started on spring projects.

Spending on private nonresidential projects was up 0.5% in March, while public spending was down 1.3%, some of it due to a reset after the burst of spending in January and February.

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