Construction spending up in March with jump in apartment starts

Updated May 3, 2016

apartmentsMainly due to gains in multi-family residential building, U.S. construction spending rose 0.3 percent in March to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1.137 trillion, according to preliminary data from the Commerce Department.

Total spending is up 8 percent over the March 2015 total.

Residential spending is now up 7.6 percent over its own year-ago figure with a 1.5 percent gain in March to $442 billion.

Private residential accounts for $435 billion of that figure with spending on single-family homes flat in March at $236 billion and spending on multi-family homes up 5.6 percent to $64 billion.

Nonresidential spending fell 0.4 percent during March to $696 billion. The sector remains up 8.3 percent over the March 2015 figure.

The largest percentage losses in nonresidential came from public safety, down 7.8 percent to $7.6 billion; sewage and waste disposal, down 4.2 percent to $25.9 billion and power, down 3.2 percent to $86.9 billion.

Total spending from the private sector was up 1.1 percent to $842 billion while government spending fell 2 percent to $295 billion.