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Construction Spending Mostly Unchanged in April

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From the Census Bureau reported that overall construction spending was mostly unchanged in April:

Construction spending during April 2019 was estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of ,298.5 billion, nearly the same as the revised March estimate of ,299.2 billion. The April figure is 1.2 percent below the April 2018 estimate of ,314.7 billion.

Private spending decreased and public spending increased:

Spending on private construction was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.0 billion, 1.7 percent below the revised March estimate of 0.4 billion. …

In April, the estimated seasonally adjusted annual rate of public construction spending was 4.6 billion, 4.8 percent above the revised March estimate of 8.7 billion.
emphasis added

Construction Spending Click on graph for larger image.

This graph shows private residential and nonresidential construction spending, and public spending, since 1993. Note: nominal dollars, not inflation adjusted.

Private residential spending had been increasing – but turned down in the 2nd half of 2018 – and is now 26% below the bubble peak.

Non-residential spending is 10% above the previous peak in January 2008 (nominal dollars).

Public construction spending is 6% above the previous peak in March 2009, and 32% above the austerity low in February 2014.

Year-over-year Construction SpendingThe second graph shows the year-over-year change in construction spending.

On a year-over-year basis, private residential construction spending is down 11%. Non-residential spending is up slightly year-over-year. Public spending is up 15% year-over-year.

This was below consensus expectations, however spending for February and March  were revised up (mostly public spending).
Calculated Risk

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