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Economy in Brief

U.S. Construction Spending Remains Strong
by Tom Moeller  November 2, 2015

The value of construction put-in-place increased 0.6% during September following an unrevised 0.7% August gain. Three-month growth held steady at 7.6% (AR), down from 29.2% in the second quarter. A 0.4% September rise had been expected in the Action Economics Forecast Survey.

Building activity in the private sector increased 0.6% following a 1.1% August gain. Activity increased at an 11.1% rate during the last three months. Residential building activity rose 1.9% (18.3% y/y), the sixth consecutive month of strong gain. Single-family building increased 1.3% (12.5% y/y) after a 1.0% rise. Spending on improvements jumped 1.5% (26.5% y/y). Multi-family building rose 4.9% (27.8% y/y). Nonresidential building eased 0.7% (+14.4% y/y).

Public sector building remained firm and gained 0.7% (9.6% y/y) following two months of decline. Office construction was little-changed (9.2% y/y) but power construction declined 3.7% (+15.5% y/y). Water supply spending jumped 4.8% (6.4% y/y) and highway & street construction improved 0.3% (10,4% 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 (SA, %) Sep Aug Jul Sep Y/Y 2014 2013 2012
Total 0.6 0.7 0.6 14.3 4.8 6.6 9.2
  Private 0.6 1.1 1.0 16.4 6.0 11.3 15.9
    Residential 1.9 1.4 1.6 18.3 1.0 19.5 14.9
    Nonresidential -0.7 0.8 0.4 14.4 11.3 3.6 16.9
  Public 0.7 -0.4 -0.6 9.6 1.9 -3.1 -2.5
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