Construction spending

The U.S. government tracks total construction

spending — and the latest figures for April

suggest that the economy is slowing.

Private construction

spending peaked nearly

a year ago, according to

the U.S. Census Bureau.

This category includes

housing, offices, retail

centers and the power

grid. Since May 2018,

private construction

spending has tumbled

6.2% to a seasonally

adjusted annual rate of

$954 billion.

This decline has been largely offset by a

surge in public construction, a category that

includes schools, highways

and sewers.

But it’s still a worrisome

sign.

The last prolonged dip in

private construction

spending began after

February 2006. The

spending steadily trailed off

ahead of the economy

entering a recession in

December 2007.

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