Recent Updates

  • US: Consumer Sentiment (Jan-prelim), GDP by Industry (Q3)
  • Consumer Sentiment Detail (Jan-prelim)
  • Canada: MSIO, Intl Transactions in Securities (Nov)
  • Ivory Coast: IP (Nov); South Africa: Financial Soundness Indicators (Nov); Turkey: House Sales (Dec), IIP (Nov)
  • Spain: International Trade (Nov)
  • Italy: BOP (Nov)
  • UK: Retail Sales (Dec)
  • Euro area: Balance of Payments (Nov)
  • more updates...

Economy in Brief

U.S. Construction Spending Gain Is Better-Than-Expected
by Tom Moeller  January 3, 2012

The level of building activity continues to improve, moderately. Construction spending during November rose 1.2% following a 0.2% October slip, revised from the 0.8% gain reported initially. However, September's gain was revised sharply higher to 1.1%. Consensus expectations were for a 0.4% November gain. These m/m machinations left the level of activity at its highest since June, 2010.

Private sector spending rose a sharp 1.0% led by a 2.0% rise (3.4% y/y) rise in residential building. The value of home-improvements again led the increase with a 2.6% rise (4.1% y/y). The value of single-family building rose 1.5% (2.5% y/y) and multi-family building increased 1.3% (4.1% y/y). Nonresidential building activity was unchanged m/m (4.5% y/y) with the y/y strength led by a 12.6% rise in factory sector building, a 12.0% gain in commercial construction, a 10.0% gain in education and a 9.2% rise in transportation. Building in the lodging sector fell 20.5% y/y and health care fell 4.9% y/y.

Public construction activity rose 1.7% (-5.3% y/y) and reversed its October decline. Power facility building jumped by nearly one-quarter m/m (-5.1% y/y) while highways & streets construction rose 1.9% (-2.2% y/y). The value of building in the latter category is nearly one-third of the public construction total. The value of building in the educational sector rose 0.5% (2.8% y/y). Office building fell 12.4% y/y and water supply was off 10.8% y/y.

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 (%) Nov Oct Sep Y/Y 2010 2009 2008
Total 1.2 -0.2 1.1 0.5 -11.3 -15.3 -7.5
 Private 1.0 0.7 1.5 4.0 -15.2 -22.4 -12.2
  Residential 2.0 2.3 1.5 3.4 -2.9 -29.9 -29.0
  Nonresidential 0.0 -0.6 1.5 4.5 -24.0 -16.0 10.5
 Public 1.7 -1.8 0.4 -5.3 -3.9 2.1 6.6
close
large image