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Economy in Brief

U.S. Construction Spending Activity Increases
by Tom Moeller  November 1, 2017

The value of construction put-in-place rose 0.3% (2.0% y/y) during September following a 0.1% uptick, revised from 0.5%. No change in activity had been expected in the Action Economics Forecast Survey.

Private sector building activity fell 0.4% (+3.1 y/y) as residential building activity was little-changed (+9.6% y/y). Single-family building activity rose 0.2% (11.9% y/y) and multi-family gained 0.6% (0.9% y/y). The value of improvements eased 0.6% (+9.6% y/y). Nonresidential building activity declined 0.8% (-3.8% y/y), down for the eighth month this year. Office building fell 1.1% (-7.4% y/y) and commercial construction declined 1.0% (+11.7% y/y). Educational building rose 5.9% (-3.9% y/y) while transportation construction increased 1.1% (22.0% y/y).

The value of public sector building activity strengthened 2.6% (-1.6% y/y) following a 0.7% rise. Conservation & development jumped 12.6% (-7.2% y/y) while power facility construction rose 11.0% (-5.7% y/y). Educational building increased 5.2% (6.0% y/y) and highway & street construction improved 1.1% (-7.4% y/y). These gains were offset by a 1.6% decline (+4.0% y/y) in office construction and a 7.4% (+1.6% y/y) shortfall in health care.

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

Construction Put in Place (SA, %) Sep Aug Jul Sep Y/Y 2016 2015 2014
Total 0.3 0.1 -0.9 2.0 6.7 10.7 11.0
  Private -0.4 -0.1 -0.9 3.1 9.2 12.5 15.4
    Residential -0.0 0.3 0.8 9.6 10.6 13.8 14.6
    Nonresidential -0.8 -0.7 -1.0 -3.8 7.6 11.2 16.3
  Public 2.6 0.7 -1.1 -1.6 -0.4 5.0 1.9
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