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Economy in Brief

U.S. Construction Spending Improves
by Tom Moeller  September 3, 2013

The value of construction put-in-place gained 0.6% in July (5.2 y/y) following little change during June, initially reported as a 0.6% decline. Figures back through last year were revised upward. A 0.3% rise in building activity had been expected. Declines in construction were logged across sectors. The value of public sector building slipped 0.3% (-3.7% y/y) although this year's numbers were revised up. Spending on highways & streets fell 1.1% (-3.8 y/y) but the decline was countered by a 4.1% rise (14.7% y/y) in transportation. Water supply spending also firmed by 3.5% (8.7% y/y).

Private sector building activity recovered by 0.9% (9.5% y/y) in July. Nonresidential building activity jumped 1.3% (2.0% y/y) as education construction spending gained 2.6% (-2.1 y/y) and commercial building rose 1.7% (2.6% y/y). Residential building activity rose 0.6% (17.2% y/y) following gains back through last year that were revised sharply higher. Spending on residential improvements rose 0.8% (1.4% y/y). Multi-family construction ticked up just 0.1% (39.3% 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 (%) Jul Jun May Y/Y 2012 2011 2010
Total 0.6 -0.0 2.0 5.2 8.1 -1.9 -11.2
  Private 0.9 -0.2 2.0 9.5 14.4 0.2 -15.2
    Residential 0.6 0.4 2.6 17.2 14.6 1.9 -2.9
    Nonresidential 1.3 -0.9 1.4 2.0 14.3 -1.4 -24.0
  Public -0.3 0.3 2.0 -3.7 -2.9 -5.4 -3.6
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