The U.S. Census Bureau reported this morning that construction spending in September rose by 0.6% to an estimated seasonally adjusted annual rate of $851.6 billion from a revised estimate of $846.2 billion from August. Compared with September 2011, spending is up 7.8%. For the first nine months of 2012, construction spending is up 8.9% year-over-year.
Spending on private residential construction rose 2.8%, compared with the revised August rate. Private nonresidential construction fell 0.1% and total private spending fell 3.4%.
In the private sector, single family residential construction is 19.2% higher than it was a year ago and multifamily construction is up 48.9% from September 2011. Commercial construction slid 4.5% from August, but it is up 1.9% year-over-year.
In the public sector, total spending fell 4.2% year-over-year and 0.8% since August, with spending on educational facilities down 0.1% from August and 14.4% from September 2011. Public residential construction rose 2.8% month-over-month and 20.9% year-over-year.
The big growth in residential construction, in both private and public sectors, is encouraging news on the housing front.