Construction Spending Slimmed by Public-Sector Cuts

Construction spending squeaked up 0.4% for April to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $860.8 billion, according to a Commerce Department report (link opens in PDF) released today.

After falling a revised 0.8% for March, analysts had estimated a month-to-month 1% increase.


Private nonresidential construction made up where other spending left off, bumping up 2.2% from March to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $300.1 billion. Private residential spending increased 0.1% to a $301.9 billion annual rate, while public spending fell 1.2% to a $258.8 billion annual rate in April.

Public-sector cuts have been the primary drag on construction spending in recent times. Over the past year, private residential construction is up 18.8%, private nonresidential is up 0.6%, and total public construction is down 5.1%. Overall, total construction spending over the past year has managed a 4.3% increase.


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