US construction spending has slipped for the second month, pulled down by a drop in single-family home building.

Construction spending fell 0.1 per cent in February after a revised 1.7 per cent drop in January, the Commerce Department said.

The result in part reflects bitter winter weather that likely constrained construction in many parts of the country during the month. Economists are hopeful for a rebound in the northern spring and summer as the economy strengthens.

Private spending on construction of single-family homes declined 1.4 per cent, while spending on apartments was up 4.1 per cent. Nonresidential construction spending rose 0.5 per cent, led by a 5.5 per cent jump in hotel construction and a 6.8 per cent jump in factory construction.

Private economists had expected overall spending to be flat.

Construction spending was up 2.1 per cent from February 2014.

The economy added 338,000 construction jobs in 2014, the most since 2005. Still, damage from the collapse of the housing market lingers: The United States has nearly 1.4 million fewer construction jobs than it had in 2006.

By Paul Wiseman