Thursday, March 01, 2018

Construction Spending mostly unchanged in January

by Bill McBride on 3/01/2018 11:52:00 AM

Earlier today, the Census Bureau reported that overall construction spending was mostly unchanged in January:

Construction spending during January 2018 was estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1,262.8 billion, nearly the same as the revised December estimate of $1,262.7 billion. The January figure is 3.2 percent above the January 2017 estimate of $1,223.5 billion.
Private spending decreased and public spending increased in January:
Spending on private construction was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $962.7 billion, 0.5 percent below the revised December estimate of $967.9 billion. ...

n January, the estimated seasonally adjusted annual rate of public construction spending was $300.1 billion, 1.8 percent above the revised December estimate of $294.8 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 increasing, but is still 23% below the bubble peak.

Non-residential spending is 6% above the previous peak in January 2008 (nominal dollars).

Public construction spending is now 8% below the peak in March 2009, and 14% 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 4%. Non-residential spending is down 1% year-over-year. Public spending is up 8% year-over-year.

This was below the consensus forecast of a 0.3% increase for January, however spending for the previous two months was revised up slightly.