Friday, June 01, 2012

Construction Spending in April: Private spending increases, Public Spending declines

by Bill McBride on 6/01/2012 01:50:00 PM

Catching up ... This morning the Census Bureau reported that overall construction spending increased in April:

The U.S. Census Bureau of the Department of Commerce announced today that construction spending during April 2012 was estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $820.7 billion, 0.3 percent above the revised March estimate of $818.1 billion. The April figure is 6.8 percent above the April 2011 estimate of $768.2 billion.
Private construction spending increased while public spending decreased:
Spending on private construction was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $549.7 billion, 1.2 percent above the revised March estimate of $543.4 billion. ... In April, the estimated seasonally adjusted annual rate of public construction spending was $271.0 billion, 1.4 percent below the revised March estimate of $274.7 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 62% below the peak in early 2006, and up 14% from the recent low. Non-residential spending is 29% below the peak in January 2008, and up about 20% from the recent low.

Public construction spending is now 17% below the peak in March 2009 and at a new post-bubble low.

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 on a year-over-year basis. The year-over-year improvements in private non-residential is mostly related 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).
All Housing Investment and Construction Graphs