Monday, April 02, 2012

Construction Spending declines in February

by Bill McBride on 4/02/2012 12:09:00 PM

Catching up ... This morning the Census Bureau reported that overall construction spending declined in February:

The U.S. Census Bureau of the Department of Commerce announced today that construction spending during February 2012 was estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $808.9 billion, 1.1 percent (±1.3%)* below the revised January estimate of $818.1 billion. The February figure is 5.8 percent (±1.8%) above the February 2011 estimate of $764.2 billion.
Private construction spending was also declined in February:
Spending on private construction was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $527.3 billion, 0.8 percent (±1.1%)* below the revised January estimate of $531.7 billion. Residential construction was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $246.5 billion in February, nearly the same as (±1.3%)* the revised January estimate of $246.4 billion. Nonresidential construction was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $280.8 billion in February, 1.6 percent (±1.1%) below the revised January estimate of $285.3 billion.
Private Construction Spending Click on graph for larger image.

This graph shows private residential and nonresidential construction spending, and public spending, since 1993. Note: nominal dollars, not inflation adjusted.

Private residential spending is 63.5% below the peak in early 2006, and up 10% from the recent low. Non-residential spending is 32% below the peak in January 2008, and up about 15% from the recent low.

Public construction spending is now 13% below the peak in March 2009.

Private Construction SpendingThe second graph shows the year-over-year change in construction spending.

On a year-over-year basis, both private residential and non-residential construction spending are positive, but public spending is down slightly on a year-over-year basis. The year-over-year improvements in private non-residential are mostly due to energy spending (power and electric).

The year-over-year improvement in private residential investment is an important change (the positive in 2010 was related to the tax credit), and this suggest the bottom is in for residential investment.
All Housing Investment and Construction Graphs

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