Recent Updates

  • New Zealand: Composite PMI, Performance of Service Index (May)
  • Blue Chip: Blue Chip Economic Indicators (Jun)
  • US: Consumer Sentiment (Jun-prelim)
  • US: Farm Equipment (May)
  • Canada: National Balance Sheet, Capacity Utilization (Q1)
  • more updates...

Economy in Brief

U.S. Construction Spending Strengthens During November
by Tom Moeller  January 4, 2021

• Monthly improvement is fifth since May. 

• Residential strength offsets continuing decline in nonresidential.

• Public sector building eases.

The value of construction put-in-place increased 0.9% (3.8% y/y) during November following a 1.6% October gain, revised from 1.3%. September's 0.2% drop was revised from -0.5%. A 1.1% November increase had been expected in the Action Economics Forecast Survey.

Private construction increased 1.2% (4.1% y/y) in November following a 1.6% October strengthening. Residential construction jumped 2.7% (16.1% y/y) as single-family building surged 5.1% (18.1% y/y), the fifth consecutive month of notably strong increase. The value of multi-family construction held steady (15.8% y/y) after almost a half-year of sizable monthly increases. Home improvement expenditures edged 0.2% higher (13.2% y/y) after improving 0.9% in October.

Weakness in business spending continued. Nonresidential private construction fell 0.8% in November (-9.5% y/y), the fifth consecutive monthly decline. Lodging construction declined 8.1% (-26.5% y/y) while power construction fell 0.9% (-8.5% y/y). Commercial building eased 0.3% (-1.8% y/y) but office building improved 0.3% (-6.6% y/y). Transportation building rose 0.5% (-6.2% y/). Manufacturing construction edged 0.1% higher (-15.1% y/y) while education construction also improved 0.1% (-17.6% y/y).

Public construction slipped 0.2% during November (+3.1% y/y) following a 1.6% October surge. Spending on highways & streets, which makes up nearly one-third of public spending, rose 1.8% (8.7% y/y) but health care outlays declined 2.0% (+6.6% y/y). Power construction fell 1.5% (-13.1% y/y) while educational spending gained 0.3% (-1.3% 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, %) Nov Oct Sep Nov Y/Y 2019 2018 2017
Total 0.9 1.6 -0.2 3.8 2.4 4.2 4.6
  Private 1.2 1.6 -0.2 4.1 0.8 4.0 6.1
    Residential 2.7 3.2 0.9 16.1 -2.4 3.4 12.4
    Nonresidential -0.8 -0.6 -1.6 -9.5 4.5 4.8 -0.7
  Public -0.2 1.6 -0.3 3.1 7.8 4.6 -0.1
close
large image