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Economy in Brief

U.S. Construction Spending Edges Up in June
by Tom Moeller  August 2, 2021

• Private residential building strengthens.

• Nonresidential building falls again.

• Public sector construction continues to weaken.

The value of construction put-in-place rose 0.1% (8.2% y/y) during June after easing 0.2% in May, revised from -0.3%. A 0.4% June increase had been expected in the Action Economics Forecast Survey.

Private construction rose 0.4% (+13.5% y/y) in June after holding steady in May. Residential construction strengthened 1.1% (29.3% y/y) as single-family building rose 1.8% (51.9% y/y), firm for the fourth straight month. Multi-family building eased slightly (+19.7% y/y) and reversed May's increase. Home improvement expenditures improved 0.4% (6.8% y/y) after falling 0.6% in May.

Nonresidential construction declined 0.7% in June (-6.0% y/y) after falling 0.4% during May. Transportation building weakened 1.3% (-7.5% y/y), down for the fourth month in the last five. Lodging construction fell 0.7% (-26.5% y/y) but education construction improved 0.1% (-18.5% y/y). Commercial building eased 0.2% (-2.1% y/y) while office building eased 0.1% (-9.1% y/y).

The value of public construction fell 1.2% during June (-7.5% y/y). It was the sixth consecutive monthly decline. Spending on highways & streets, which makes up nearly one-third of public spending, weakened 5.3% (-7.6% y/y), off 9.9% since December. A 1.7% rise (3.4% y/y) in spending on health care units countered the decline. Utilities construction rose 2.2% (24.7% y/y).

The construction spending figures, some of which date back to 1946 can be found in Haver's USECON database. The expectations reading is in the AS1REPNA database.

Construction Put in Place (SA, %) Jun May Apr Jun Y/Y 2020 2019 2018
Total 0.1 -0.2 0.3 8.2 5.8 4.2 4.1
  Private 0.4 0.0 0.5 13.5 6.0 2.1 4.0
    Residential 1.1 0.3 1.0 29.3 15.1 -2.2 3.5
    Nonresidential -0.7 -0.4 -0.4 -6.0 -4.0 7.3 4.7
  Public -1.2 -0.8 -0.3 -7.5 5.2 11.1 4.3
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