Friday, June 01, 2018

Construction Spending increased 1.8% in April

by Bill McBride on 6/01/2018 11:17:00 AM

Earlier today, the Census Bureau reported that overall construction spending decreased in April:

Construction spending during April 2018 was estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1,310.4 billion, 1.8 percent above the revised March estimate of $1,286.8 billion. The April figure is 7.6 percent (±1.5 percent) above the April 2017 estimate of $1,217.7 billion.
Private spending increased and public spending decreased:
Spending on private construction was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1,014.3 billion, 2.8 percent above the revised March estimate of $986.6 billion. ...

In April, the estimated seasonally adjusted annual rate of public construction spending was $296.1 billion, 1.3 percent below the revised March estimate of $300.1 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 21% below the bubble peak.

Non-residential spending is 10% 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 10%. Non-residential spending is up 5% year-over-year. Public spending is up 8% year-over-year.

This was below the consensus forecast of a 0.8% increase for April.  And spending for the previous two months was revised up slightly.