The August rate of spending on residential construction projects dropped 27.9 percent compared to August 2007, the U.S. Census Bureau announced today.

The seasonally adjusted annual rate of spending on private residential construction projects was $343.6 billion in August, up 0.3 percent compared to the July rate. This rate, a projection of a monthly spending total over a 12-month period, adjusted to account for typical seasonal fluctuations in construction activity, had declined for 16 consecutive months prior to August.

Total construction spending on public and private construction projects — both residential and nonresidential — hit a rate of $1.07 trillion in August, which was roughly level with the July rate but down about 5.9 percent compared to the August 2007 rate, according to the report. Total spending for the first eight months of the year was also down 5.9 percent compared to the same period in 2007.

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