Construction Spending increased 1.5% in December

Construction Spending increased 1.5% in December

by CalculatedRisk on 2/01/2012 

Catching up … This morning the Census Bureau reported that overall construction spending increased in December:

The U.S. Census Bureau of the Department of Commerce announced today that construction spending during December 2011 was estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $816.4 billion, 1.5 percent (±1.4%) above the revised November estimate of $804.0 billion. The December figure is 4.3 percent (±1.9%) above the December 2010 estimate of $782.9 billion.

The value of construction in 2011 was $787.4 billion, 2.0 percent (±1.1%) below the $803.6 billion spent in 2010.

Private construction spending increased in December:

Spending on private construction was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $529.7 billion, 2.1 percent (±1.1%) above the revised November estimate of $518.8 billion. Residential construction was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $241.2 billion in December, 0.8 percent (±1.3%)* above the revised November estimate of $239.4 billion. Nonresidential construction was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $288.5 billion in December, 3.3 percent (±1.1%) above the revised November estimate of $279.4 billion.

Private Construction SpendingClick on graph for larger image.

This graph shows private residential and nonresidential construction spending, and public spending, since 1993. Note: nominal dollars, not inflation adjusted.

Private residential spending is 64% below the peak in early 2006, and non-residential spending is 30% below the peak in January 2008.

Public construction spending is now 11% below the peak in March 2009.

Private Construction SpendingThe second graph shows the year-over-year change in construction spending.

On a year-over-year basis, both private residential and non-residential construction spending have turned positive, but public spending is down on a year-over-year basis as the stimulus spending ends. The year-over-year improvements in private non-residential are mostly due to energy spending (power and electric).

The year-over-year improvement in private residential investment is an important change (the positive in 2010 was related to the tax credit).

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