Construction spending falls 0.2% in March

Updated May 4, 2017

apartment constructionGains in residential construction spending during March were offset by an identical loss in nonresidential as total construction spending in the U.S. fell 0.2 percent.

Total spending fell to $1.2 trillion, but remains 3.6 percent above the March 2016 figure, according to preliminary data from the Commerce Department.

Private residential spending rose 1.2 percent during March to $503 billion and is 7.5 percent above its year-ago figure. The gains primarily came from an 0.3 percent increase in single-family home spending to $258 billion. Those gains were nearly matched however by multifamily spending which rose 2 percent to $66 billion.

Total nonresidential spending fell 1.2 percent for the month to $709 billion but remains up 1 percent over its year-ago figure.

Top percentage losses in the sector were commercial and educational, both down 3.4 percent to $80.5 billion and $91 billion, respectively; and transportation which fell 3.2 percent to $40 billion. Top percentage gains were conservation and development, which increased 5.4 percent to $7.5 billion; health care, up 1.7 percent to $41 billion; and lodging, up 0.7 percent to $28 billion.

Total construction spending from the private sector was flat at $940 billion while government spending fell 0.9 percent to $278 billion.