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The Economy

September 05, 1996|Times Staff and Wire Reports

Construction Spending Plummets in July: The Commerce Department said that spending on both government and private building projects totaled $554.7 billion in July at a seasonally adjusted annual rate, down 1.4% from the June level. That was the biggest drop in five months as building activity in the housing sector fell for a third straight month. Both housing and nonresidential building fell during the month, with analysts blaming the impact of rising long-term interest rates for part of the weakness. Thirty-year, fixed-rate mortgages, which started the year at 7%, have now climbed above 8%. Spending for new housing fell for a third straight month with the 1.1% July decline the biggest in more than a year.

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