The numbers: Construction expenditures were 0.1% higher in July than in June, led by the public sector, the Commerce Department said Tuesday. Outlays in July were 5.8% higher than a year ago.
What happened: All of the strength in July came from public works, which rose 0.7% during the month. Spending on private construction ticked down 0.1% for the month. Residential construction increased 0.6% compared to the prior month, and was 6.6% higher than a year ago. The July figure missed the Econoday forecast of a 0.4% monthly increase. Read: Here’s why America’s houses are getting older
Big picture: The government’s construction spending data is choppy, but the overarching trend is up. Through the first seven months of the year, expenditures were 5.2% higher than in the same period in 2017.
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