Construction spending rose 1.8 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $981.3 billion in July, according to preliminary estimates by the Commerce Department. The gain is the largest since May 2012 and follows an 0.9-percent drop in June. More good news: June’s drop wasn’t as bad as originally feared. The Commerce Department revised the figure up from a 1.8-percent drop.
Total spending is now up 8.2 percent year-over-year and is at its highest point since December 2008.
The largest percent gains during the month came from government spending. Overall public spending rose 3 percent to $279.6 billion. Public nonresidential spending saw its largest gain since October, rising 3 percent to $274.2 billion. Highway and street construction spending saw the biggest percent gain in the public sector during the month with 6.9-percent growth to $85 billion. On July 31, Congress passed a $10.8 billion highway funding patch that will keep the Highway Trust Fund solvent for 10 months.
Government residential spending saw a 4.2-percent increase to $5.4 billion.
Construction spending in the private sector saw an overall gain of 1.4 percent in July to $701.6 billion. Nonresidential saw the largest percent gain in the private sector during the month, growing 2.1 percent to $343 billion. Power led nonresidential spending with a 7.5-percent gain to $98 billion, followed by manufacturing with a 4.4-percent gain to $58 billion and lodging with a 2.8-percent gain to $15 billion.
Homebuilding saw a 0.7-percent increase to $358 billion and is 8 percent above where it stood one year ago. Single-family home construction spending rose 0.5 percent to $187.1 billion. Apartment construction rose 0.2 percent to $43.2 billion.
Overall residential construction spending was up 0.7 percent in July at $363.4 billion. That figure is up 7.6 percent from the previous year. Overall nonresidential spending was up 2.5 percent to $617.8 billion, up 7.6 percent year-over-year.
This article was written by Wayne Grayson, Online Managing Editor of Equipment World.