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Economy in Brief

U.S. Construction Spending Continues to Rise
by Tom Moeller  January 3, 2018

The value of construction put-in-place increased 0.8% (2.6% y/y) during November following a 0.9% October increase, initially reported as 1.4%. September's 1.3% gain was stronger than reported earlier. A 0.7% gain in activity had been expected in the Action Economics Forecast Survey.

Private sector building activity rose 1.0% (2.7% y/y) as residential building activity also improved 1.0% (8.6% y/y). Single-family building activity rose 1.9% (9.2% y/y) but multi-family construction declined 1.3% (-2.7% y/y). The value of improvements rose 0.7% (12.2% y/y). Nonresidential building activity increased 0.9% (-3.6% y/y). Educational building rose 1.0% (-3.5% y/y) while transportation construction increased 3.7% (37.1% y/y). Office building strengthened 5.5% (-7.0% y/y), and commercial construction gained 1.5% (7.3% y/y). Power facility construction fell 1.1% (-11.6% y/y).

The value of public sector building activity nudged 0.2% higher (2.2% y/y). Office building eased 0.8% (+11.9% y/y). Educational building increased 3.8% (13.7% y/y) but highway & street construction eased 0.8% (-5.8% y/y). Conservation & development facility construction fell 9.4% (-7.0% y/y), while power plant construction increased 6.2% (+7.0% y/y).

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, %) Nov Oct Sep Nov Y/Y 2016 2015 2014
Total 0.8 0.9 1.3 2.6 6.5 10.7 11.0
  Private 1.0 0.1 0.9 2.7 9.2 12.9 14.8
    Residential 1.0 0.3 1.4 8.6 10.6 13.8 14.6
    Nonresidential 0.9 -0.2 0.3 -3.6 7.7 11.5 15.2
  Public 0.2 3.5 2.5 2.2 -1.2 5.1 2.0
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