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Construction Spending Increased 0.2% in October

by Calculated Risk on 12/01/2021 10:18:00 AM

From the Census Bureau reported that overall construction spending increased 0.2%:

Construction spending during October 2021 was estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1,598.0 billion, 0.2 percent above the revised September estimate of $1,594.8 billion. The October figure is 8.6 percent above the October 2020 estimate of $1,471.7 billion.
emphasis added

Private spending decreased and public spending increased:

Spending on private construction was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1,245.0 billion, 0.2 percent below the revised September estimate of $1,247.9 billion….

In October, the estimated seasonally adjusted annual rate of public construction spending was $353.0 billion, 1.8 percent above the revised September estimate of $346.8 billion.

Click on graph for larger image.

This graph shows private residential and nonresidential construction spending, and public spending, since 1993. Note: nominal dollars, not inflation adjusted.

Residential spending is 14% above the bubble peak (in nominal terms – not adjusted for inflation).

Non-residential spending is 13% above the bubble era peak in January 2008 (nominal dollars), but has been soft recently.

Public construction spending is 8% above the peak in March 2009.

The second graph shows the year-over-year change in construction spending.

On a year-over-year basis, private residential construction spending is up 16.7%. Non-residential spending is up 3.1% year-over-year. Public spending is up 0.4% year-over-year.

Construction was considered an essential service during the early months of the pandemic in most areas, and did not decline sharply like many other sectors. However, some sectors of non-residential have been under pressure. For example, lodging is down 32.4% YoY.

This was below consensus expectations of a 0.4% increase in spending; however, construction spending for the previous two months was revised up.

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