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U.S. Construction Spending Rises Unexpectedly


Construction spending in the U.S. rose unexpectedly in August, according to the latest U.S. Department of Commerce figures released today.

Total spending increased 0.3% from July and 4.4% versus August, 2005, to an estimated seasonally adjusted rate of $1,200.7 billion.

Through the first eight months of the year, construction spending was $793.2 billion, $7.2 billion above the same period in 2005.

Non-residential construction was up 2.3% compared to July, and up 17.1% versus one year ago. Residential construction for the same period declined 1.4% month-to-month and 5.1% year-to-year. Both private non-residential construction and public construction showed gains, with corporate spending on new facilities leading the increases.

Figures from Reed Construction Data showed a similar, positive construction picture for the year through August. U.S. construction starts (in dollars) rose in all categories, including residential, although the indicators were mixed versus 2005. According to Reed, for the period January-August, versus the same period in 2005:

Commercial Construction:    +16%
Industrial Construction:      -52.9%
Institutional Construction:  +19.7%
Residential Construction:     -3.5%
Total Construction:            +2.3%