Construction spending up 0.2% in April due to increase in government projects

Updated Jun 3, 2014

Construction VehiclesThanks to gains in both government projects and home building, U.S. construction spending saw another slight boost in April, rising to its highest level in five years.

Construction spending rose to $953.5 billion in April, an increase of 0.2 percent from the revised March figure of $951.5 billion. Due to the revision of that figure, what was a 0.2-percent increase in March is now a 0.6-percent increase.

Total spending is up 8.6 percent year-over-year to the highest rate since March 2009.

And while housing was the star of the show in March, government spending saw the biggest gains in April at 0.8 percent to $267 billion.

Government housing projects continued to slide with a 6-percent decrease to $4.4 billion, but nonresidential projects were up 1 percent to $262.5 billion. The biggest gains among those projects were commercial with a 14.7-percent increase to $2 billion, sewage and waste disposal with a 4.7-percent increase to $20.2 billion and transportation with a 3.6-percent increase to $31.3 billion.

Home construction spending in the private sector was up 0.1 percent in April to $378.5 billion. Despite the small monthly gain, it remains the highest rate seen since March 2008. Apartment construction had the largest spending increase at 2.7 percent to $40.3 billion while single-family home construction was up 1.3 percent to $189.5 billion.

Private nonresidential spending was down 0.1 percent to a rate of $308 billion, led by a 9.8-percent increase in amusement and recreation construction to $6.6 billion, a 3.1-percent increase in office construction to $36 billion and a 2.8-percent increase in transportation to $13 billion.

Overall residential construction spending was flat in April at $383 billion. That figure is up 16.3 percent from the previous year. Overall nonresidential spending rose 0.4 percent to $570.6 billion, up 3.9 percent year-over-year.