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Construction spending fell 0.6 percent in July

By Martin Crutsinger

Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Construction spending took a bigger-than-expected tumble in July as housing activity dropped to the lowest level in seven years and nonresidential activity fell for the first time in seven months.

The Commerce Department says construction spending declined 0.6 percent in July, double the 0.3 percent decrease analysts had been expecting.

Housing activity fell for a 16th consecutive month, declining 2.3 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $357.8 billion. That was the lowest level since March 2001, the start of the last recession.

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