New construction contracts dropped 6% in May.

The F. W. Dodge division of McGraw-Hill Information Systems said contracting for new construction declined to an annual rate of $233.5 billion. Contracting for non-residential building fell 8%, and contracting for housing slipped 7%, the report said. However, public works construction increased 3%, Dodge said. The decline reflects the544367971George A. Christie, chief economist for Dodge. Residential building in May slipped to an annual rate of $108.3 billion, Dodge said, with the largest drop in one-family homes, which are particularly sensitive to changes in interest rates. Non-residential building fell to an annual rate of $78.8 billion, Dodge reported.

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