Monday, August 03, 2015

Construction Spending increased 0.1% in June

by Bill McBride on 8/03/2015 10:16:00 AM

The Census Bureau reported that overall construction spending increased slightly in June:

The U.S. Census Bureau of the Department of Commerce announced today that construction spending during June 2015 was estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1,064.6 billion, 0.1 percent above the revised May estimate of $1,063.5 billion. The June figure is 12.0 percent above the June 2014 estimate of $950.3 billion.
Private spending decreased and public spending increased:
Spending on private construction was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $766.4 billion, 0.5 percent below the revised May estimate of $770.0 billion ...

In June, the estimated seasonally adjusted annual rate of public construction spending was $298.2 billion, 1.6 percent above the revised May estimate of $293.5 billion.
emphasis added
Note: Non-residential for offices and hotels is generally increasing, but spending for oil and gas has been declining. Early in the recovery, there was a surge in non-residential spending for oil and gas (because oil prices increased), but now, with falling prices, oil and gas is a drag on overall construction spending.

As an example, construction spending for private lodging is up 42% year-over-year, whereas spending for power (includes oil and gas) construction peaked in mid-2014 and is down 16% year-over-year.

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 has been increasing recently, and is 45% below the bubble peak.

Non-residential spending is only 5% below the peak in January 2008 (nominal dollars).

Public construction spending is now 8% below the peak in March 2009 and about 13% above the post-recession low.

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

On a year-over-year basis, private residential construction spending is up 13%. Non-residential spending is up 15% year-over-year. Public spending is up 8% year-over-year.

Looking forward, all categories of construction spending should increase in 2015. Residential spending is still very low, non-residential is starting to pickup (except oil and gas), and public spending has also increasing after several years of austerity.

This was below the consensus forecast of a 0.6% increase, however spending for April and May was revised up significantly.  Overall, a solid report.