Total US Construction Spending Remains Essentially Flat for a Sixth Month

US construction spending speeds up in October

During the first ten months of this year, construction spending amounted to $972.2 billion, 4.5% above the $930.7 billion for the same period in 2015.

Outlays for USA construction projects rose 0.5% in October, the Commerce Department reported (https://www.census.gov/construction/c30/pdf/release.pdf) Thursday.

Analysts had expected U.S. Construction Spending to rise to 0.5% last month.

October was the sixth consecutive month that growth in total value of US construction put in place was well within the margin of error of the Department of Commerce's monthly estimates.

Both non-residential and residential public construction spending rose sequentially in October. Private nonresidential construction fell 1% month over month, and total private construction spending on a seasonally adjusted annual basis fell 0.2% to $879.7 billion, compared with a revised August total of $881.6 billion. Total public and private construction spending was up 3.4% compared with October 2015.

The increase in total construction spending came as spending on public construction surged up by 2.8 percent to a rate of $286.8 billion in October from $279.1 billion in September.

The total public construction in USA rose 2.8 percent in sequential terms, as compared with September's rise of 0.4 percent. Spending on multifamily residential construction increased by 2.8 percent for the month and 17.8 percent year-to-date, while single-family spending also climbed 2.8 percent for the month and rose 5.1 percent year-to-date. A rebound in private residential construction underpins the view that residential investment will recover in the fourth quarter, says Wells Fargo in a research report.

Association officials said they were optimistic that the incoming Trump administration's plans to reform the tax code, cut needless regulatory burdens and invest in aging infrastructure would help boost overall construction demand.

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