Wednesday, May 01, 2019

Construction Spending decreased 0.9% in March

by Calculated Risk on 5/01/2019 11:14:00 AM

From the Census Bureau reported that overall construction spending decreased in March:

Construction spending during March 2019 was estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1,282.2 billion, 0.9 percent below the revised February estimate of $1,293.3 billion. The March figure is 0.8 percent below the March 2018 estimate of $1,293.1 billion.
Both private and public spending decreased:
Spending on private construction was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $961.5 billion, 0.7 percent below the revised February estimate of $968.6 billion. ...

In March, the estimated seasonally adjusted annual rate of public construction spending was $320.7 billion, 1.3 percent below the revised February estimate of $324.7 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 had been increasing - but turned down in the 2nd half of 2018 - and is now 26% below the bubble peak.

Non-residential spending is 11% above the previous peak in January 2008 (nominal dollars).

Public construction spending is just below the previous peak in March 2009, and 23% 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 down 8%. Non-residential spending is up 2% year-over-year. Public spending is up 1% year-over-year.

This was well below consensus expectations, and spending for January and February were revised down significantly.  A weak report.