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Construction Spending Declines

June 1, 2000

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Spending on construction projects fell 0.6 percent in April, the biggest setback in almost a year, as weakness in residential construction and government projects offset gains in offices and other commercial buildings.

The Commerce Department said today that construction spending totaled $757.3 billion at a seasonally adjusted annual rate in April, down from a March figure of $761.7 billion.

It marked the first setback since September. Construction spending had risen for six straight months as the industry benefited from the strong economy and a mild winter in many parts of the country.

The construction report was the latest indication that the U.S. economy may finally be slowing under the weight of six interest rate increases engineered by the Federal Reserve over the past year in an effort to dampen growth and keep inflation in check.

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