Highway construction spending down in August

3205622528_0e54cdd861_zU.S. construction spending saw its second dip of the year in August, falling 0.8 percent.

Spending was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $961 billion in August, according to preliminary estimates in a report from the Commerce Department.

In addition to August’s dip, the report revised downward the rates for the previous two months as well. July’s rate was originally reported as a 1.8-percent gain to $981 billion but has been revised to a 1.2-percent gain to $969 billion.

Total construction spending is now up 5 percent year-over-year.

Highway and street construction spending also dipped in August. $83.2 million was spent last month which is a .6 percent decrease from the near $83.8 million spent in July.

Both private and government spending were down in August. Private spending was down 0.8 percent to $686 billion with a 1.4-percent dip in private nonresidential to $333 billion leading the way. The largest percent gain in nonresidential came from communication which was up 3.6 percent to $15.7 billion. Manufacturing was next with a 1.5-percent gain to $56 billion, followed by education’s 1.4-percent gain to $16.3 billion.

Homebuilding saw a 0.1-percent decrease to $351.6 billion but remains is 9.2 percent above where it stood one year ago. Single-family home construction spending rose 0.7 percent to $189 billion. Apartment construction rose 1.4 percent to $44 billion. The homebuilding spending estimate includes improvement spending.

Government spending fell 0.9 percent to $276 billion. Nonresidential spending fell 1 percent to $270 billion. The largest percent gains in government nonresidential were office, up 10.7 percent to $8.7 billion; commercial, up 8.3 percent to $1.8 billion and amusement and recreation, up 4.4 percent to $9.9 billion.

Overall residential construction spending was down 0.1 percent in August at $357 billion. That figure is up 3.3 percent from the previous year. Overall nonresidential spending was down 1.2 percent to $604 billion, up 6 percent year-over-year.

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This article was originally written by Wayne Grayson, Online Managing Editor of Equipment World. Information regarding highway construction was added by Brian Ethridge, Online Managing Editor of Better Roads and Aggregates Manager.