New Construction Spending Dipped Slightly in September

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The U.S. Census Bureau reported Tuesday morning that construction spending in September dipped to an estimated seasonally adjusted annual rate of about $1.15 trillion, down 0.4% from the downwardly revised estimate of $1.154 trillion in August. Compared with September 2015, total spending is down 0.2%.

For the first nine months of 2016, new construction spending rose 4.4% to an estimated total of $863.2 billion, compared with the 2015 total of $826.8 billion.

The consensus estimate by economists surveyed by Bloomberg News called for a rise of 0.6% in construction spending for September and a year-over-year decline of 0.3%.

For the month of September, private residential construction rose 0.5% month over month to $453.7 billion. 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.

In the private sector, single-family residential construction is 2.9% lower than it was a year ago and multifamily construction is up 9.1% from September 2015. Private, nonresidential construction is up 4.1% year over year.

In the public sector, seasonally adjusted total spending fell 0.9% compared with August and is now 7.8% lower compared with September 2015. Spending on educational facilities decreased by 1.1% month over month, and it is down 0.4% from September 2015 spending. Public residential construction fell 9.9% month over month and remains down 14.8% compared with September 2015.

Private-company spending on new housing is up 5.8% year over year through September, and private sector spending on nonresidential construction is down 2.1% year over year. Total public and private construction spending is up 4.4% compared with September 2015.