With spending on private construction showing a significant pullback, the Commerce Department released a report on Tuesday showing an unexpected decrease in U.S. construction spending in the month of March.
The Commerce Department said construction spending slump by 1.7 percent to an annual rate of $1.285 trillion in March after jumping by 1.0 percent to a revised rate of $1.306 trillion in February.
Economists had expected construction spending to rise by 0.5 percent compared to the 0.1 percent uptick originally reported for the previous month.
The unexpected decrease in construction spending came as spending on private construction tumbled by 2.1 percent to a rate of $987.5 billion in March after surged up by 1.2 percent to a rate of $1.009 trillion in February.
The report said spending residential construction plunged by 3.5 percent to a rate of $536.8 billion, while spending on non-residential construction fell by 0.4 percent to a rate of $450.7 billion.
Meanwhile, the Commerce Department said spending on public construction was nearly unchanged at $297.2 billion in March compared to $297.3 billion in February.
While spending on educational construction edged down by 0.1 percent to a rate of $73.1 billion, spending on highway construction jumped by 1.2 percent to a rate of $91.0 billion.