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Economy in Brief

U.S. Construction Spending Advances Further
by Tom Moeller  January 2, 2014

The value of construction put-in-place gained 1.0% in November (5.9% y/y) following a little-revised 0.9% October rise. A 0.6% increase in building activity had been expected. The September increase of 1.4% was revised up substantially from the initially-estimated 0.3% slip.

Private sector construction activity jumped 2.2% (8.6% y/y) in November after no change in October. Residential building surged 1.9% (16.6% y/y) as spending on improvements recovered 2.2% (10.2% y/y). Single-family home building activity gained 1.8% (18.4% y/y) while multi-family building rose 0.9%, up by more than one-third y/y. Nonresidential building activity surged 2.7% (1.0% y/y) paced by an 8.8% gain (37.7% y/y) in multi-retail and a 4.6% rise (11.5% y/y) in office building.

Offsetting these November gains was a 1.8% decline (-0.2% y/y) in the value of public sector building activity. The shortfall reflected an 8.1% drop (-4.6% y/y) in sewerage & waste disposal and a 7.3% shortfall (-9.1% y/y) in health care building activity. Spending on highways & streets slipped 0.4% (+4.6% y/y). Spending here accounts for 30% of total public sector construction activity.

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

Construction Put in Place (%) Nov Oct Sep Y/Y 2012 2011 2010
Total 1.0 0.9 1.4 5.9 8.1 -1.9 -11.2
  Private 2.2 0.0 2.9 8.6 14.4 0.2 -15.2
    Residential 1.9 -0.4 5.4 16.6 14.6 1.9 -2.9
    Nonresidential 2.7 0.5 0.3 1.0 14.3 -1.4 -24.0
  Public -1.8 3.1 -2.0 -0.2 -2.9 -5.4 -3.6
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