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Economy in Brief

U.S. Construction Spending Declines Again
by Tom Moeller  October 1, 2012

The value of construction put-in-place fell 0.6% during August after a 0.4% July decline, last month reported as -0.9%. A 0.5% rise had been expected. Private sector spending led the decline with a 0.5% drop (+12.1% y/y) after a 0.3% slip during July. Nonresidential building activity fell a sharp 1.7% (+7.2% y/y) led by monthly declines of 3.7% in both power (+12.3% y/y) and communications (-5.3% y/y). Residential building rose 0.9% (+17.8% y/y). Single-family construction increased 2.8% (20.8% y/y) and multi-family building jumped another 3.7% (44.8% y/y). These gains were offset by spending on improvements which fell 1.7% (+10.7% y/y).

In the public sector, building activity fell 0.8% m/m (-3.5% y/y). Spending on highways & streets, which is 29% of total public construction spending, slipped 0.6% (+3.6% y/y) and added to its 1.0% July decline. Transportation spending, which is 10% of total public, slumped 1.6% (+0.2% y/y) while office construction fell 2.9% (-12.2% y/y). Educational building activity continued lower by 3.4% (-7.0% y/y) but water supply construction ticked up 0.4% (-12.2% y/y).

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

A New Look at Second Liens from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York is available here.

 

Construction Put in Place (%) Aug Jul Jun Y/Y 2011 2010 2009
Total -0.6 -0.4 0.8 6.5 -3.1 -11.2 -15.3
 Private -0.5 -0.3 0.8 12.1 -1.1 -15.2 -22.4
  Residential 0.9 -0.1 3.3 17.8 -1.0 -2.9 -29.9
  Nonresidential -1.7 -0.5 -1.5 7.2 -1.3 -24.0 -16.0
 Public -0.8 -0.5 0.7 -3.5 -6.4 -3.6 2.1
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