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Economy in Brief

U.S. Construction Spending Strengthens
by Tom Moeller  December 1, 2017

The value of construction put-in-place increased 1.4% (2.9% y/y) during October following an unrevised 0.3% September rise. A 0.5% gain in activity had been expected in the Action Economics Forecast Survey.

Private sector building activity rose 0.6% (3.2 y/y) as residential building activity improved 0.4% (7.4% y/y). Single-family building activity rose 0.3% (8.9% y/y) but multi-family declined 1.6% (-2.0% y/y). The value of improvements jumped 1.4% (8.7% y/y). Nonresidential building activity increased 0.9% (-1.3% y/y), only the second monthly rise this year. Educational building rose 2.5% (3.3% y/y) while transportation construction increased 7.2% (41.1% y/y). Office building strengthened 4.4% (-6.5% y/y), but commercial construction declined 1.9% (+6.9% y/y). Power facility construction eased 0.3% (-7.6% y/y).

The value of public sector building activity strengthened for the third consecutive month, in October by 3.9% (1.8% y/y). Office building rose 11.7% (22.0% y/y). Educational building increased 10.9% (14.6% y/y) and highway & street construction improved 1.1% (-8.5% y/y). Conservation & development jumped 4.4% (11.6% y/y), while power facility construction eased 1.9% (-6.3% y/y).

The construction spending figures are in Haver's USECON database and the expectations reading is contained in the AS1REPNA database.

Construction Put in Place (SA, %) Oct Sep Aug Oct Y/Y 2016 2015 2014
Total 1.4 0.3 0.5 2.9 6.7 10.7 11.0
  Private 0.6 -0.2 -0.2 3.2 9.2 12.5 15.4
    Residential 0.4 -0.2 0.5 7.4 10.6 13.8 14.6
    Nonresidential 0.9 -0.2 -1.0 -1.3 7.6 11.2 16.3
  Public 3.9 2.0 2.7 1.8 -0.4 5.0 1.9
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