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US construction spending edges up tiny 0.1% in July

WASHINGTON — U.S. construction spending edged up a tiny 0.1% in July, breaking a string of losses due to disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The Commerce Department reported that the slight July gain followed a 0.5% decline in June. In July, spending on residential construction rose a solid 2.1% while nonresidential construction fell by 1%.

Home sales have been strong after an initial hit from the pandemic, and the hope is that those gains will help lift housing construction in the months ahead.

The report showed that total government construction fell by 1.3% in July. The expectation is that government building will be depressed in coming months as state and local governments face severe budget restraints because of the loss of tax revenue from the pandemic.

Martin Crutsinger, The Associated Press

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