Monday, June 01, 2020

Construction Spending Decreased in April

by Calculated Risk on 6/01/2020 10:30:00 AM

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

Construction spending during April 2020 was estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1,346.2 billion, 2.9 percent below the revised March estimate of $1,386.6 billion. The April figure is 3.0 percent above the April 2019 estimate of $1,307.1 billion.
emphasis added
Both private and public spending decreased:
Spending on private construction was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1,004.1 billion, 3.0 percent below the revised March estimate of $1,035.6 billion. ...

n April, the estimated seasonally adjusted annual rate of public construction spending was $342.1 billion, 2.5 percent below the revised March estimate of $351.0 billion.
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.

Residential spending is 21% below the previous peak.

Non-residential spending is 13% above the previous peak in January 2008 (nominal dollars).

Public construction spending is 5% above the previous peak in March 2009, and 30% 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 6.2%. Non-residential spending is up 1.1% year-over-year. Public spending is up  0.8% year-over-year.

This was above consensus expectations of a 6% decrease in spending, and construction spending for February and March were revised up.

Construction was considered an essential service in most areas and hasn't declined sharply like many other sectors.