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Economy in Brief

U.S. Construction Spending Moves Up Slightly
by Tom Moeller  July 2, 2013

The value of construction put-in-place improved 0.5% (5.4% y/y) during May after a revised 0.1% April up tick. A 0.6% rise in activity had been expected. The value of public sector building gained 1.8% (-4.7% y/y) but activity was down 16.5% from 2009 high. The monthly increase reflected a 6.2% jump (9.9% y/y) in water supply as well as a 2.9% rise (2.7% y/y) in sewerage & waste disposal. The value of spending on highways & streets nudged up 0.8% (-7.3% y/y).

Private sector building activity was little-changed (10.6% y/y) in May, reflecting a 1.2% rise (23.1% y/y) in residential building activity. That was due to a 2.5% gain (51.7% y/y) in multi-family construction and a 1.9% increase (7.1% y/y) in spending on improvements. Single-family building activity rose 0.4% (33.2% y/y). Nonresidential building activity declined 1.4% (-0.9% y/y), pulled lower by a 6.3% drop (-13.7% y/y) in communication while office construction fell 1.9% (+4.8% y/y). Amusements & recreation building was off 1.8% (-11.5% y/y) while educational spending nudged up 0.6% (-8.5% y/y).

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

Construction Put in Place (%) May Apr Mar Y/Y 2012 2011 2010
Total 0.5 0.1 -0.1 5.4 6.4 -1.9 -11.2
  Private -0.0 0.3 0.4 10.6 11.7 0.2 -15.2
    Residential 1.2 -0.1 0.4 23.1 8.8 1.9 -2.9
    Nonresidential -0.9 0.2 0.7 -0.9 14.3 -1.4 -24.0
  Public 1.8 -0.2 -1.2 -4.7 -2.9 -5.4 -3.6
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