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Economy in Brief

U.S. Construction Spending Flat Again in October
by Tom Moeller December 1, 2004

The total value of construction put in place remained stalled in October for the third straight month versus the Consensus expectation for a 0.7% rise.

Private residential building activity fell 0.3% for the second consecutive month as new single family building slipped (+14.4% y/y).

"Housing and the Business Cycle" from the Federal Reserve Board can be found here.

Nonresidential building also slipped 0.4% (+2.5% y/y) but so far this year has risen 3.8% due to huge gains in lodging (+42.8%) and retail 29.2%).

Public construction jumped 1.2% as spending on highways & streets, nearly one third of the value of public construction spending, recovered 6.4% (4.9% 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 Oct Sept Y/Y 2003 2002 2001
Total 0.0% 0.1% 7.1% 5.1% 1.5% 3.5%
Private -0.3% -0.1% 8.3% 6.0% -0.2% 1.4%
  Residential -0.3% -0.3% 10.9% 13.1% 8.4% 3.3%
  Nonresidential -0.4% 0.2% 2.5% -7.1% -12.8% -1.3%
Public 1.2% 0.9% 3.5% 2.6% 7.0% 10.7%
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