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Economy in Brief

U.S. Construction Spending Dipped
by Tom Moeller August 2, 2004

The total value of construction put in place dipped 0.3% in June following a modest 0.1% May uptick. No change in June spending had been the Consensus expectation.

Private residential building activity fell 0.4% after a mild 0.3% rise in May. Residential building dropped 0.6% (+13.3% y/y) as new single family building fell 0.3% (+21.6% y/y) following three months of very sharp gain.

Nonresidential building was unchanged (+3.2% y/y) after a sharp 1.0% decline in May. Health care (+11.7% y/y) and education (-6.1% y/y) spending slipped.

Public construction ticked 0.2% higher (+4.2% y/y) but spending on highways & streets, which is nearly one third of the value of public construction spending, dropped 3.9% m/m (+8.8% y/y).

These more detailed categories represent the Census Bureau’s reclassification of construction activity into end-use groups. Finer detail is available for many of the categories; for instance, commercial construction is shown for Automotive sales and parking facilities, drugstores, building supply stores, and both commercial warehouses and mini-storage facilities. Note that start dates vary for some seasonally adjusted line items in 2000 and 2002 and that constant-dollar data are no longer computed.

Construction Put-in-place June May Y/Y 2003 2002 2001
Total 1.3% 2.4% 11.3% 4.0% 1.1% 2.7%
Private 1.2% 1.1% 11.6% 4.6% -0.2% 1.4%
  Residential 1.2% 1.3% 17.3% 10.1% 8.6% 3.3%
  Nonresidential 1.3% 0.7% 0.1% -5.5% -13.0% -1.3%
Public 1.7% 7.0% 10.2% 2.1% 5.3% 7.4%
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