Economists had expected a 0.6 percent dip in private and public construction spending. But spending totaled $841.9 billion, compared to the revised figure for April of $843.3 billion, Thursday's report said.
Expenditures on private construction on a seasonally adjusted annual basis fell 0.5 percent from the previous month to $536.3 billion.
Residential construction outlays fell 0.4 percent to $260.8 billion and non-residential project spending dropped 0.6 percent to $275.6 billion.
Spending increased 0.4 percent in projects involving public funds. Construction spending for education fell 0.9 percent month-to-month to $74 billion, but highway construction spending rose 2.7 percent to $83.1 billion.