Construction Spending Edges Up in March

Summary

Construction Spending Inches Higher

  • Total construction spending rose 0.1% during March, which was well below the consensus estimate of a 0.8% gain. Spending is now up 11.7% over the past year.
  • A solid 1.0% gain in residential spending helped bolster overall spending in March. Single-family and home improvement outlays increased 1.3% and 1.1% over the month, respectively. Multifamily declined by 0.5%.
  • Total nonresidential spending dropped by 0.8%, with private nonresidential sinking 1.2%.
  • In terms of total nonresidential spending, religious (-3.6%), amusement & recreation (-2.1%), commercial (-1.9%), manufacturing (-1.6%) healthcare (-1.2%), power (-1.0%), educational (-0.9%), highway & street (-0.4%) and office (-0.2%) declined during the month.
  • Not every nonresidential sector slipped in March. Spending on lodging projects improved 0.5%, the second straight monthly gain.
  • Public expenditures declined 0.2%, as a 0.3% drop in public nonresidential outlays dragged on overall spending. Public residential spending rose 0.5%.

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