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Economy in Brief

U.S. Construction Spending Up 
by Tom Moeller April 4, 2005

The total value of construction put in place rose 0.4% in February. Consensus expectations had been for a 0.6% gain. Earlier month's figures were little revised.

Private residential building activity rose 0.7% paced by a 1.4% (13.7% y/y) jump in new single family building.

Nonresidential building slipped 1.2% after the strong gain in January as commercial building fell 3.2% (+7.1% y/y). Office building rose 1.6% (3.6% y/y) but manufacturing building fell 2.4% (+28.5% y/y).

Public construction rose 1.1%. Spending on highways & streets, nearly one third of the value of public construction spending, rose 2.5% (21.4% 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 Feb Jan Y/Y 2004 2003 2002
Total 0.4% 0.6% 10.0% 8.9% 5.1% 1.5%
Private 0.1% 0.6% 10.3% 10.7% 6.0% -0.2%
  Residential 0.7% 0.3% 12.1% 13.9% 13.1% 8.4%
  Nonresidential -1.2% 1.3% 6.0% 3.7% -7.1% -12.8%
Public 1.1% 0.7% 9.0% 3.3% 2.6% 7.0%
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