US New Construction Spending Inched Higher in July

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The U.S. Census Bureau reported Tuesday morning that construction spending in July rose by 0.1% month over month to an estimated seasonally adjusted annual rate of about $1.315 trillion, just above the revised estimate of $1.314 trillion in June. Compared with July 2017, total spending was up 5.8%.

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 seven months of 2018, unadjusted construction spending totaled $740.49 billion, up 5.2% year over year.

The consensus estimate by economists surveyed by Econoday called for month-over-month spending to rise by 0.4% in July.

For the month of July, the seasonally adjusted annual rate of private residential construction rose by 0.6% month over month to $566.6 billion. Private non-residential construction slipped 0.3% month-over-month and total private construction spending on a seasonally adjusted annual basis slipped 0.1% to $1.01 trillion compared with a revised June total of $1.011 trillion.

In the private sector, single family residential construction was 6% higher than it was a year ago, and multifamily construction was up 1.1% from July 2017. Private, nonresidential construction was up 3.2% year over year.

In the public sector, seasonally adjusted total spending rose 0.7% compared with the June rate and was 8.3% higher compared with July 2017. Spending on educational facilities increased by 2.1% month over month and rose 1.9% from last July’s spending. Public residential construction rose 0.3% month over month and increased by 0.6% compared with July 2017.

Public spending on streets and highways rose 0.4% month over month and rose by 3.9% year over year. Spending on healthcare construction was up 3.2% sequentially and up 7.4% year over year.

Seasonally adjusted annual total public and private construction spending remains well below the year-to-date peak of $1.2367 trillion posted in May.