Construction Spending Drops in January


The U.S. Census Bureau reported this morning that construction spending in January fell by 2.1% to an estimated seasonally adjusted annual rate of $883.3 billion from a revised estimate of $902.6 billion in December. Compared with January 2012, spending is up 7.1%. For all of 2012, construction spending rose 9.9% year-over-year compared with 2011.

Spending on private residential construction was virtually flat compared with the revised December total of $304.7 billion. Private nonresidential construction declined 5.1% year-over-year and total private spending fell 2.6%.

In the private sector, single family residential construction is 30.2% higher than it was a year ago and multifamily construction is up 54.9% from January 2012. Private commercial construction is up 3% year-over-year.

In the public sector, total spending is down 3% year-over-year, continuing a slide begun in September 2012. Spending on educational facilities fell 3.5% month-over-month and 8.5% from January 2012 spending. Public residential construction fell 0.7% month-over-month, but is 11.7% lower year-over-year.

Residential construction is no longer getting a boost from rebuilding following Hurricane Sandy. There is also the seasonal slowdown in construction to contend with. What happens in March and April may be more indicative of construction activity in the United States for this year.

Filed under: 24/7 Wall St. Wire, Economy, Housing, Research