WASHINGTON — The U.S. Census Bureau  reported that nonresidential construction spending rose 0.6% in July, the 10th consecutive monthly gain in the sector. Total construction spending fell 0.4%, while the residential sector declined 1.4%. Private nonresidential construction was up 0.4%, while commercial construction rose 0.6%. Shopping malls, warehouses and general merchandise stores were up 4%, while offices rose 0.8%. The power and private health (hospitals) areas were also strong, showing 0.5% increases, while schools and other public construction registered healthy 0.7% gains as well. Street and highway spending lagged behind, showing a 0.8% decrease that may be in response to slower gas tax receipts and shrinking federal highway funds, according to Ken Simonson, chief economist for The Associated General Contractors of America.  Read more.

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