US New Construction Spending Inched Higher in May

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The U.S. Census Bureau reported Monday morning that construction spending in May rose by 0.4% to an estimated seasonally adjusted annual rate of about $1.309.5 trillion, above the revised estimate of $1.304.5 trillion in April. Compared with May 2017, total spending is up 4.5%.

For all of 2017, new construction spending rose 4.1% to an estimated total of $1.234 trillion, compared with the 2016 total of $1.186 billion. For the first five months of 2018, construction spending totaled $497.1 billion, up 4.3% year over year.

The consensus estimate by economists surveyed by Bloomberg News called for month-over-month spending to rise by 0.6% in May and a year-over-year increase of 7.6%.

For February, private residential construction rose by 0.1% month over month to $533.4 billion. Private nonresidential construction rose 1.5% month over month, and total private construction spending on a seasonally adjusted annual basis rose 0.7% to $982 billion, compared with a revised January total of $974.8 billion.

In the private sector, single family residential construction is 8.2% higher than it was a year ago, and multifamily construction is up 4.2% from May 2017. Private, nonresidential construction is up 1.8% year over year.

In the public sector, seasonally adjusted total spending rose 0.7% compared with the April rate and is 4.7% higher compared with May 2017. Spending on educational facilities increased by 0.9% month over month and rose 0.4% from last May’s spending. Public residential construction rose 1.4% month over month and decreased by 4.8% compared with May 2017.

Public spending on streets and highways fell 0.2% month over month but rose by 5.8% year over year. Spending on healthcare construction is up 1.6% sequentially and down 3.3% year over year.