US construction fell in March as an increase in non-residential construction was offset by declines in home building and government projects.

The Commerce Department says construction spending dropped 0.6 per cent in March after being flat in February. Construction activity has fallen or shown no gain in four of the past five months, a sign of the economic toll from a severe winter.

For March, housing construction dropped 1.6.

Both single-family construction and apartment construction contracted. Spending on government projects fell 1.5 per cent, the third straight decline.

The only good news in March is a one per cent rise in non-residential construction, with gains in the building of hotels and office buildings.

Economists are forecasting a rebound in coming months as warmer weather boosts activity.