According to the Commerce Department, spending on construction projects in the United States dropped 0.4% to an annual rate of $1.17 trillion in July. This decrease was the first drop in construction outlays since January, and it followed June's revised gain of 0.1%. According to MarketWatch, economists had expected flat construction spending in July. When comparing the results to those from a year ago, construction spending is 2% lower. For the first 7 months of 2007, construction spending dropped 3.4% from the year-earlier 7-month period.
During July, spending on private projects dropped 0.7% to $880.1 billion. Digging into the numbers a bit, public-sector projects saw spending increase 0.7% to $289.0 billion, with state and local spending adding 0.8% to $269.6 billion. The federal government spent 0.4% less, $19.4 billion, while the private sector's non-residential spending increased 0.4% to $346.0 billion.