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Single Family Sector is Rare Winner in Construction Spending Report

June 1, 2017

 

The total amount of construction put in place nationally fell in April, but continues at a pace higher than at the same point in 2016.  The U.S. Census Bureau puts the seasonally adjusted annual rate of spending on all types of construction during the month at $1.22 trillion, a decrease of 1.4 percent from the March total, but up 6.7 percent from April of last year. The month-over-month decline was nearly universal; the only sector to post a gain was "water supply." Total spending on residential construction was down 0.9 percent from March but was 15.6 percent higher than a year earlier.

 

On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, there was $98.10 billion spent in total, compared to $94.79 billion in March.  Year to date expenditures, at $359.53 billion, are 5.8 percent ahead of the same period in 2016.

 

Privately funded construction was at a seasonally adjusted rate of $943.26 billion compared to $949.66 billion in March, a decline of 0.7 percent.  Year-to-date spending, not seasonally adjusted, is running 9.2 percent ahead of last year.

 

Residential spending in the private sector was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $516.65 billion in April, an 0.7 percent dip from $520.36 billion in March, but 16.0 percent higher than the April 2016 pace.  Spending on new single family construction managed to be one of the few gainers for the month, eking out an 0.8 percent month-over-month gain to a rate of $262.14 billion.  This made the spending rate 7.7 percent higher than a year earlier. On an unadjusted basis, new single family expenditures during the month were $21.14 billion and the year-to-date total through April was $76.05 billion, 5.2 percent higher than during the same period in 2016.

 

Multi-family construction spending was at an annual rate of $64.86 billion, 0.2 percent less than in March but 10.1 percent higher than in April 2016.  Year-to-date spending on new units in buildings with five or more units rose 7.7 percent from the same period last year.

 

Total spending on public construction fell 3.7 percent from March to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $275.25 billion and was 4.4 percent lower than a year earlier.  Residential spending in the public sector was down 15.5 percent for the month and 10.9 percent year-over-year.

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