Construction Spending Dips in July

Sept. 1, 2017

Construction spending as at a nine-month low after falling unexpectedly in July. Construction spending is at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1.211 trillion, according to the latest release from the Census Bureau. This is the third time in four months there has been a month-to-month decline.

July’s estimate is 0.6% below June’s revised estimate of $1.219 trillion. Despite the slight drop, July’s data is still 1.8% higher than it was in July 2016. Construction spending is at $691 billion during the first seven months of 2017, which represents a nearly 5% increase over the same time period a year ago. Economists polled by Reuters predicted construction spending would increase 0.5% in July.

Private construction spending in July was 0.4% below June’s revised estimate. Residential construction spending was 0.8% above June’s revised estimate, while nonresidential spending in July was nearly 2% below June. This was the best July for private residential construction since 2006, jumping more than 11% from July 2016. Nonresidential spending was at its lowest rate since April 2016.

Public construction spending dipped 1.4% on a month-over-month basis, and it is at its lowest level since early 2014. Public nonresidential construction spending also saw a decline to its lowest July rate since 2006. Residential spending was down over 12% from July 2016.

– Michael Miller, editorial associate

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