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Economy in Brief

U.S. Construction Activity Eases
by Tom Moeller  August 1, 2016

The value of construction put-in-place declined 0.6% (+0.3% y/y) during June after 0.1% May dip, revised from -0.8%. A 0.5% increase was expected in the Action Economics Forecast Survey.

Building activity in the private sector eased 0.6% (+2.5% y/y), led by a 1.3% drop (+2.5% y/y) in nonresidential construction after a 0.1% rise. Commercial construction fell 1.6% (+7.7% y/y) and transportation building fell 0.2% (+11% y/y). Increasing were amusement and recreation building by 1.2% (+7.1% y/y) and office construction by 0.6% (+19.6% y/y).

The value of residential building activity was unchanged (+2.6% y/y). Single-family construction declined 0.4% (+4.8% y/y), down for the fourth straight month. Multi-family construction activity fell 1.5% (+16.4% y/y) following a 3.0% increase, and the value of improvements rose 1.2% (-5.2% y/y) after a 1.0% rise.

The value of public sector building activity declined 0.6% (-6.0% y/y), down for the fourth straight month. Highways and streets construction fell 1.4% (-5.8% y/y) and educational building declined 0.5% (-4.8% y/y). Increasing was the value of health care construction by 1.0% (-0.7% y/y) and public safety by 0.6% (-6.6% 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, %) Jun May Apr Jun Y/Y 2015 2014 2013
Total -0.6 -0.1 -2.9 0.3 10.3 11.4 6.3
  Private -0.6 0.2 -2.8 2.5 12.5 15.4 10.9
    Residential -0.0 0.1 -4.9 2.6 16.8 14.6 20.1
    Nonresidential -1.3 0.4 -0.4 2.5 8.1 16.3 2.7
  Public -0.6 -1.2 -3.2 -6.0 4.5 1.9 -3.1
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