Private Construction Spending Up for September

by Houston Agent

Construction data from the Census Bureau was largely positive for September.

According to new data from the U.S. Census Bureau, construction spending rose for the second straight month, in increasing 0.2 percent from August to September to a seasonally adjusted rate of $787.2 billion.

Though the spending was 1.3 percent below September 2010’s data, private construction, which includes homes, did increase for the month to $501.8 billion, an 0.6 percent jump. Additionally, residential construction was up 0.9 percent to $228.3 billion, and nonresidential was up 0.3 percent $273.5 billion.

In addition to private, the Census Bureau also released data for public construction, which includes government infrastructure projects and the building of public schools. Spending for the public sector was down 0.6 percent overall, as educational construction fell by 0.9 percent but highway construction increased by 1.4 percent.

As Bill McBride of Calculated Risk notes, “Private residential spending is 66 percent below the peak in early 2006, and non-residential spending is 34 percent below the peak in January 2008.”

The numbers look grim, but McBride notes that on a yearly basis, “both private residential and non-residential construction spending have turned positive.”
The sector to focus on, McBride notes, is public spending, which may continue to fall as federal stimulus funds dry up.

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