Construction spending dips 0.3% in November due to decrease in government nonresidential

Updated Jan 6, 2015

shutterstock_120925525Increases 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.

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.