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Economy in Brief

U.S. Construction Also Rises…
by Robert Brusca March 30, 2007

Construction Put In Place $-Millions
Percentage Change as Noted
1-Mo1-Mo SAAR3-Mo6-MOYr/YrShare
Total0.3%3.3%-9.4%-4.8%-2.4%100.0%
Private0.2%2.6%-18.1%-9.5%-6.0%75.5%
Residential-1.0%-11.0%-31.2%-17.0%-15.1%48.0%
Lodging2.6%35.8%46.2%20.9%45.4%1.9%
Office-0.2%-2.1%43.1%19.6%31.9%4.5%
Commercial1.8%23.3%9.2%4.5%8.6%6.8%
Transport1.6%21.6%24.2%11.5%-0.7%0.8%
Communication6.8%119.4%96.9%40.3%16.8%1.6%
Power6.2%105.8%-36.4%-20.3%6.5%2.7%
MFG5.0%78.7%6.1%3.0%23.1%3.5%
Other0.6%7.9%9.5%4.6%9.8%5.8%
Public0.4%5.4%26.0%12.3%10.4%24.5%
Highway0.5%5.8%7.4%3.6%10.9%6.8%
Sewer-0.2%-3.0%36.9%17.0%8.9%1.8%
Water-0.1%-1.4%-3.9%-2.0%6.9%1.1%
Other0.5%6.7%37.3%17.2%10.6%14.8%

Construction spending in February rose by 0.3% and the drop in January was revised upward from a drop of 0.8 to one of 0.5%.

In the current quarter private residential spending is off at a 19% pace. Other private spending rising at a 16% pace. Public spending is up at an 11% pace. Still, due to the size of the residential sector overall spending is dropping at a 4% pace in 2007-Q1.

The chart on the left shows trends in the three main construction segments Private residential, Public and other private. These six month annualized growth rates show that nonresidential private spending is faltering, but still carrying positive growth. Private residential spending is stabilizing but still sinking at a steady 19% annualized rate of decline. Public spending is oscillating and growing at about a 12% pace.

Although private residential spending shows signs of bottoming, this is in terms of a steep negative growth rate. Such ‘stabilization’ still implies subtraction from GDP. Meanwhile a major stabilizing factor, other private spending is decelerating rapidly. I suppose this not surprising given the way corporations have pulled back from, capital spending on equipment and software. Construction projects are certainly a little less malleable.

Commentary Archive

Construction Put In Place $-Millions
   
  Percentage Change as Noted  
  1-Mo 1-Mo SAAR 3-Mo 6-MO Yr/Yr Share
Total 0.3% 3.3% -9.4% -4.8% -2.4% 100.0%
Private 0.2% 2.6% -18.1% -9.5% -6.0% 75.5%
  Residential -1.0% -11.0% -31.2% -17.0% -15.1% 48.0%
  Lodging 2.6% 35.8% 46.2% 20.9% 45.4% 1.9%
  Office -0.2% -2.1% 43.1% 19.6% 31.9% 4.5%
  Commercial 1.8% 23.3% 9.2% 4.5% 8.6% 6.8%
  Transport 1.6% 21.6% 24.2% 11.5% -0.7% 0.8%
  Communication 6.8% 119.4% 96.9% 40.3% 16.8% 1.6%
  Power 6.2% 105.8% -36.4% -20.3% 6.5% 2.7%
  MFG 5.0% 78.7% 6.1% 3.0% 23.1% 3.5%
  Other 0.6% 7.9% 9.5% 4.6% 9.8% 5.8%
Public 0.4% 5.4% 26.0% 12.3% 10.4% 24.5%
  Highway 0.5% 5.8% 7.4% 3.6% 10.9% 6.8%
  Sewer -0.2% -3.0% 36.9% 17.0% 8.9% 1.8%
  Water -0.1% -1.4% -3.9% -2.0% 6.9% 1.1%
  Other 0.5% 6.7% 37.3% 17.2% 10.6% 14.8%

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