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Economy in Brief

U.S. Construction Spending Improves Further
by Tom Moeller December 1, 2011

Construction spending during October rose 0.8%, about as expected, after an unrevised 0.2% September uptick. Private sector spending led last month's gain with a 2.3% jump. Residential building rose 3.4% led by a 6.7% jump (1.7% y/y) in the value of home-improvements. The value of single-family building rose 0.6% (1.0% y/y) and multi-family building slipped 0.8% (+6.7% y/y). Nonresidential building activity rose 1.3% (8.4% y/y) with the y/y strength led by an 18.2% gain in power, a 16.6% increase in amusements & recreation, a 13.9% rise in manufacturing and a 10.8% rise in transportation building. Health care building fell 3.3% y/y, communication fell 4.7% and office building inched up just 0.7%.

Public construction activity fell 1.8% (-9.4% y/y) after its 0.3% September uptick. The y/y decline was led by commercial (-12.9%), health care (-10.5%), transportation (-2.6%) and highways & streets (-0.4%) building.

The construction put-in-place figures are available in Haver's USECON database. The expectations figure is contained in Haver's AS1REPNA database.

Construction Put in Place (%) Oct Sep Aug Y/Y 2010 2009 2008
Total 0.8 0.2 2.2 -0.4 -11.3 -15.3 -7.5
 Private 2.3 0.2 2.0 5.2 -15.2 -22.4 -12.2
  Residential 3.4 0.6 2.1 1.7 -2.9 -29.9 -29.0
  Nonresidential 1.3 -0.1 2.0 8.4 -24.0 -16.0 10.5
 Public -1.8 0.3 2.5 -9.4 -3.9 2.1 6.6
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