Construction spending falls 0.4% in September despite homebuilding gains

Updated Nov 4, 2016

shutterstock_55365469U.S. construction spending fell 0.4 percent in September as nonresidential spending declines wiped out homebuilding gains during the month.

Construction spending is at a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of $1.150 trillion, according to preliminary data from the Commerce Department. With the September decrease, the spending rate is 0.2 percent below the September 2015 rate.

Spending in the private homebuilding sector rose 0.5 percent to $454 billion, and is 1 percent above the year-ago rate. Spending on the construction of single-family homes rose 0.1 percent during September to a rate of $236.5 billion, while multi-family housing spending rose 2 percent to $62 billion.

Nonresidential spending fell 1 percent to a rate of $690 billion and is 0.7 percent below the September 2015 rate. Top percentage declines for the sector were sewage and waste disposal, down 5.4 percent to $20 billion; religious, down 5.1 percent to $4 billion, and commercial, down 3 percent to $72 billion. Top percentage gains were were conservation and development, up 1.5 percent to $7.5 billion, and highway and street up 0.9 percent to $87 billion.

Total spending from the private sector fell 0.2 percent to $880 billion while government spending fell 1 percent to $270 billion.