Construction spending dips 0.8% in August due to fall in nonresidential

Updated Oct 2, 2014

shutterstock_55365469U.S. construction spending saw its second dip of the year in August, falling 0.8 percent.

Spending was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $961 billion in August, according to preliminary estimates in a report from the Commerce Department.

In addition to August’s dip, the report revised downward the rates for the previous two months as well. July’s rate was originally reported as a 1.8-percent gain to $981 billion but has been revised to a 1.2-percent gain to $969 billion.

Total construction spending is now up 5 percent year-over-year.

Both private and government spending were down in August. Private spending was down 0.8 percent to $686 billion with a 1.4-percent dip in private nonresidential to $333 billion leading the way. The largest percent gain in nonresidential came from communication which was up 3.6 percent to $15.7 billion. Manufacturing was next with a 1.5-percent gain to $56 billion, followed by education’s 1.4-percent gain to $16.3 billion.

Homebuilding saw a 0.1-percent decrease to $351.6 billion but remains is 9.2 percent above where it stood one year ago. Single-family home construction spending rose 0.7 percent to $189 billion. Apartment construction rose 1.4 percent to $44 billion. The homebuilding spending estimate includes improvement spending.

Government spending fell 0.9 percent to $276 billion. Nonresidential spending fell 1 percent to $270 billion. The largest percent gains in government nonresidential were office, up 10.7 percent to $8.7 billion; commercial, up 8.3 percent to $1.8 billion and amusement and recreation, up 4.4 percent to $9.9 billion.

Overall residential construction spending was down 0.1 percent in August at $357 billion. That figure is up 3.3 percent from the previous year. Overall nonresidential spending was down 1.2 percent to $604 billion, up 6 percent year-over-year.