Construction spending stalled in January. Publicly
funded spending rose slightly from December but that was offset by reductions in
most areas of private construction. Residential construction did remain in the
black, due to a slight increase in single-family building.
Total construction spending was at a seasonally
adjusted annual rate of $1.263 trillion, essentially unchanged from December.
The figure was an increase of 3.2 percent compared to January 2017.
On an unadjusted basis the value of construction put
in place dropped from $96.200 billion in December to $86.912 billion in
January. The monthly decline was shared by every construction category.
Privately funded construction dollars spent were at a
seasonally adjusted rate of $962.733 billion, a -0.5 percent change from
December, but up 1.7 percent compared to January 2017. On an unadjusted basis spending
dropped from $75.129 billion in December to $67.950 billion the following
month. Month-over-month spending was down in eight of the 13 discrete private
Residential spending, at a seasonally adjusted rate of
$523.165 billion, was 0.3 percent above the December 2018 rate and up 4.2
percent year-over-year. Spending on
single-family construction was stronger than the sector as a whole, rising 0.6
percent for the month and 8.8 percent on an annual basis. This offset a decline
in multi-family construction spending of 1.3 percent and 2.4 percent for the
two earlier periods.
On a non-seasonally adjusted basis there was $34.724
billion spent in January on residential construction, $19.284 of which was for
the single-family category. In December the respective figures were $38.028
billion and $20.566 billion. One month
into 2018, year-to-date spending is running 4.3 percent ahead of 2017 in
overall residential and 9.0 percent in single-family spending.
In the public sector, spending was at a seasonally
adjusted annual rate of $300.051 billion in January up 1.8 percent from
December and 8.2 percent from January 2017. The strongest sectors for both monthly
and annual spending were Education (up 9.0 and 37.7 percent respectively) and health
care (21.6 and 30.1 percent).
Residential spending, at a rate of $6.713 billion, was 4.3 percent lower
than in December but 10.3 percent higher for the year.