U.S. construction spending rises 0.4 percent in December

shutterstock_67472749U.S. construction spending edged up 0.4 percent during December, ending 2014 on a positive note at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $982 billion, according to preliminary estimates from the Commerce Department.

Total spending is up 2.2 percent over December 2013.

Government spending increased 1.1 percent during the month to $283.5 billion, to finish at a 6.7-percent year-over-year increase. Both public residential and nonresidential projects saw increases during December, up 2.3 percent and 1.1 percent, respectively.

Spending on public housing projects was up 3.2 percent year-over-year while nonresidential finished at a 6.8-percent year-over-year gain.

Public nonresidential’s biggest percent gains coming from power at 18.2 percent to $11.7 billion and office at 9.1 percent to $8.5 billion. Highway and street spending rose 2.1 percent during December to a rate of $90.2 billion.

Private construction spending rose 0.1 percent during December to a rate of $698.5 billion, up 0.4 percent on the year. Homebuilding increased 0.3 percent to $349.5 billion, but finished the year down 4 percent from 2013.

Spending on single family homes rose 1.2 percent during the month to $202.4 billion while apartment spending rose 0.4 percent to a rate of $46.5 billion. Single-family finished the year up 11 percent year-over-year, while apartments finished up at a 26.8-percent increase.

Private nonresidential fell 0.2 percent during the month to a rate of $349 billion, but remained up 5.3 percent on the year.

The biggest private nonresidential gains came from amusement and recreation, up 2.8 percent to $8.5 billion; communication, up 2.5 percent to $15.6 billion; and manufacturing, up 1.9 percent to $60.3 billion.

Overall residential construction spending was up 0.4 percent in December to a rate of $355 billion. That figure is down 3.9 percent from the previous year. Overall nonresidential spending was up 0.4 percent to $627 billion, up 5.9 percent year-over-year.