WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. construction spending fell in July from June by the largest amount in a year, weighed down by a big drop in spending on home improvement projects.
The Commerce Department said construction spending declined 0.9 percent in July. It followed three months of gains driven by increases in home and apartment construction. New home construction rose again in July, but spending on home renovation projects fell by 5.5 percent.
Spending was also down for non-residential projects and government construction projects as well.
The June decline left spending at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $834.4 billion, up 11.8 percent from a 12-year low hit in February 2011. Construction activity is roughly half of what economists consider to be healthy.