Recent Updates

  • US: New Res Sales (Mar), S&P Case Shiller Home Price Indexes, FHFA HPI (Feb), Final Building Permits (Mar)
  • US: Steel Imports (Mar-Prelim)
  • US: Richmond Fed Mfg & Service Sector Surveys (Apr)
  • US: Consumer Confidence (Apr)
  • Belgium: Business Confidence (Apr)
  • US: Regional Building Permits (Mar and YTD)
  • Ireland: Bank Lending Survey (Q2)
  • France: BdF Bank Lending Survey (Q2)
  • more updates...

Economy in Brief

U.S. Construction Spending Falls Again Despite The Mild Winter
by Tom Moeller  April 2, 2012

Warm temperatures didn't seem to give much of a lift to construction spending. During February, outlays fell 1.1% (+5.8% y/y) following a downwardly revised 0.8% January drop. The decline disappointed Consensus expectations for a 0.7% February increase. Despite these shortfalls, however, spending activity is reversing its earlier declines.

Private sector spending fell 0.8% (+10.2% y/y) after a downwardly revised 1.3% January decline. Residential building was unchanged (5.6% y/y) as single-family construction fell 1.5% (+4.2% y/y) but multi-family building rose 2.0% (25.7% y/y). The value of spending on improvements increased 1.2% (4.5% y/y). Adding to the private sector's decline was a 1.7% shortfall (-1.4% y/y) in public sector building activity. The decline reflected a 2.6% drop (+0.4% y/y) in highway & street construction and a 1.8% decline (-9.1% y/y) in transportation. Offsetting these declines was a 1.7% rise (11.1% y/y) in power facility building activity.

The construction spending figures are in Haver's USECON database and the expectations figure is contained in the AS1REPNA database.

The Foreclosure Crisis in 2008: Predatory Lending or Household Overreaching? from the Feral Reserve Bank of St. Louis is available here.

Construction Put in Place (%) Feb Jan Dec Y/Y 2011 2010 2009
Total -1.1 -0.8 1.1 5.8 -1.7 -11.3 -15.3
 Private -0.8 -1.3 1.8 10.2 0.9 -15.2 -22.4
  Residential 0.0 -0.1 0.4 5.6 -0.8 -2.9 -29.9
  Nonresidential -1.6 -2.3 3.0 14.5 2.6 -24.0 -16.0
 Public -1.7 0.1 -0.2 -1.4 -6.1 -3.9 2.1
close
large image