Monday, April 03, 2017

Construction Spending increased in February

by Bill McBride on 4/03/2017 12:05:00 PM

Earlier today, the Census Bureau reported that overall construction spending increased in February:

Construction spending during February 2017 was estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1,192.8 billion, 0.8 percent above the revised January estimate of $1,183.8 billion. The February figure is 3.0 percent above the February 2016 estimate of $1,157.7 billion.
Both private and public spending increased in February:
Spending on private construction was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $917.3 billion, 0.8 percent above the revised January estimate of $910.0 billion. ...

In February, the estimated seasonally adjusted annual rate of public construction spending was $275.5 billion, 0.6 percent above the revised January estimate of $273.9 billion.
emphasis added
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 generally increasing, and is still 29% below the bubble peak.

Non-residential spending is now 4% above the previous peak in January 2008 (nominal dollars).

Public construction spending is now 15% below the peak in March 2009, and only 5% above the austerity low in February 2014.

Year-over-year 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 6%. Non-residential spending is up 8% year-over-year. Public spending is down 8% year-over-year.

Looking forward, all categories of construction spending should increase in 2017.

This was close to the consensus forecast of a 1.0% increase for February.