The U.S. Census Bureau reported this morning that construction spending in August fell by 0.6% to an estimated seasonally adjusted annual rate of $837.1 billion from a revised estimate of $842 billion. Compared with August 2011, spending is up 6.5%. For the first eight months of 2012, construction spending is up 9% year-over-year.
Spending on private residential construction rose 0.9% month-over-month, just about the only good news in this month’s report. Private non-residential construction fell 1.2% and total private spending fell 0.5%.
In the private sector, single family residential construction is 20.8% higher than it was a year ago and multi-family construction is up 44.8% from August 2011. Commercial construction fell 1.3% from July and 0.1% year-over-year.
In the public sector, total spending fell 0.8%, with spending on educational facilities down 3.4% from July and 7% from August 2011. Public residential construction rose 1.2% month-over-month, but fell 27.7% year-over-year. Total public construction spending was down 3.5% year-over-year.