Construction spending drops in November, highway spending increases

construction-employeeIncreases in homebuilding in both the private and public sectors were not enough to offset a decrease in government nonresidential as construction spending fell 0.3 percent in November.

According to preliminary estimates from the Commerce Department, construction spending in November fell to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $975 billion. The new data also revised the September and October rates upward from the previously estimated $960 billion and $971 billion, respectively, to $966 billion and $977 billion.

Highway and street construction spending saw an increase in spending of .3 percent during the month of November.

Total construction spending in the U.S. is now up 2.4 percent year-over-year.

Private homebuilding continues to be the single largest contributor to spending, rising 0.9 percent in November to a rate of $353 billion. That rate is down 0.5 percent from where it stood one year ago at this time.

Private spending on single-family home construction rose 1 percent during the month to a rate of $200 billion and is now up 12.5 percent year-over-year. Spending on apartments rose 1.1 percent during the month and is up 27.2 percent year-over-year at a rate of $47.5 billion.

Government home construction was up during the month as well, rising 3.5 percent to a rate of $5.3 billion. That rate is down 5.4 percent from last year.

Private nonresidential spending fell 0.3 percent in November to a rate of $345 billion, but remains up 4.7 percent year-over-year.  The largest percent decreases during the month came in health care and amusement and recreation, both falling 4.1 percent to rates of $28 billion and $8 billion, respectively. Office construction saw a 2.1 percent decrease to a rate of $39 billion. Notable increases were transportation, up 1.8 percent to a rate of $12 billion, and power, up 2.4 percent to a rate of $87 billion.

The month’s largest drop came from government nonresidential spending which fell 1.8 percent to a rate of $272 billion. The largest percent drop came in power spending, down 13.8 percent to $11 billion. Conservation and development spending fell 7.1 percent to a rate of $8 billion while public safety fell 5.5 percent to $9 billion. The largest increase in spending came in sewage and waste disposal, up 2.7 percent to $23.6 billion.

Government nonresidential remains up 3.4 percent year-over-year.

Total private spending was up 0.3 percent to a rate of $697 billion, up 2 percent year-over-year. Total government spending fell 1.7 percent to a rate of $278.5 billion and is up 3.2 percent on the year.

Overall residential construction spending was up 0.9 percent in November to a rate of $358 billion. That figure is down 0.6 percent from the previous year. Overall nonresidential spending was down 1 percent to $617 billion, up 4.2 percent year-over-year.

Article written by Wayne Grayson, Online Managing Editor of Equipment World.