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Construction Spending unchanged in May

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Earlier today, the Census Bureau reported that overall construction spending was unchanged in May:

Construction spending during May 2017 was estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of ,230.1 billion, nearly the same as the revised April estimate of ,230.4 billion. The May figure is 4.5 percent above the May 2016 estimate of ,177.0 billion.

Private spending decreased and public spending increased in May:

Spending on private construction was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 3.2 billion, 0.6 percent below the revised April estimate of 9.3 billion. …

In May, the estimated seasonally adjusted annual rate of public construction spending was 6.9 billion, 2.1 percent above the revised April estimate of 1.0 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 has been increasing, and is still 25% below the bubble peak.

Non-residential spending is now 5% above the previous peak in January 2008 (nominal dollars).

Public construction spending is now 12% below the peak in March 2009, and 9% 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 up 11%. Non-residential spending is up slightly year-over-year. Public spending is down slightly year-over-year.

This was below the consensus forecast of a 0.5% increase for May, however spending for previous months were revised up.
Calculated Risk

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