Private housebuilding hardest hit, declining 3.5% in October alone

Construction spending in the US fell more sharply than expected in October, according to figures from the Commerce Department.

Expenditure was down 1.2% for the month, a steep drop from September, which showed no change. Analysts were expecting a decrease of around 1%.

Private housebuilding was hit particularly badly, down 3.5% for the month, while public construction rose 0.7%.

The news came as the recession in America was officially declared by the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER).

The non-partisan body said the country entered a recession in December last year, when employment peaked.

The US stock market plunged 680 points as the news emerged yesterday.