New Construction Spending Up 4% in December

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The U.S. Census Bureau reported Wednesday morning that construction spending in December rose by 0.2% to an estimated seasonally adjusted annual rate of about $1.1815 trillion, below the downwardly revised estimate of $1.182 trillion in November. Compared with December 2015, total spending is up 4.2%.

For all of 2016, new construction spending rose 4.5% to an estimated total of $1.1624 trillion, compared with the 2015 total of $1.1124 billion.

The consensus estimate by economists surveyed by Bloomberg News called for a rise of 0.2% in construction spending for December and a year-over-year spending increase of 4.1%.

For the month of December, private residential construction rose 0.4% month over month to $473.28 billion. Private nonresidential construction dipped 0.7% month over month, and total private construction spending on a seasonally adjusted annual basis rose 0.2% to $896.992 billion, compared with a revised November total of $894.84 billion.

In the private sector, single family residential construction was 0.3% higher than it was a year ago, and multifamily construction was up 11.7% from December 2015. Private, nonresidential construction was up 9.2% year over year.

In the public sector, seasonally adjusted total spending fell 1.7% compared with November and was 1.8% lower compared with December 2015. Spending on educational facilities decreased by 2.2% month over month and was up 1.5% from December 2015 spending. Public residential construction fell 3.8% month over month and dropped 3.4% compared with December 2015.

Private sector spending on new housing was up 3.7% year over year through December, and private sector spending on nonresidential construction was up 9.2% year over year. Total public and private construction spending was up 4.2% compared with December 2015.

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