Construction Spending is Up in July, Year-Over-Year

Sept. 1, 2016

Total construction spending at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1.15 trillion in July essentially remained unchanged from June and is about 1.5% higher than it was the prior July. Construction spending for the first seven months of the year amounted to $647.7 billion, about 5.6% above what it was for the same period a year ago, the Commerce Department said Thursday.

Private construction spending grew 1% in July, month-over-month,  at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $875 billion, with residential construction leading the way at $445.5 billion, about 0.3% higher than June’s figure and 1.9% higher than a year ago, Commerce said. Nonresidential construction spending grew 1.7% overall in July to $429.5 billion and is up 7.1% from last year.

Most private construction spending sectors grew in July, with the exceptions of amusement and recreation, which dropped 3.9% to $11.7 billion, and lodging, which fell 1.2% to $27.8 billion. Spending on office construction and manufacturing grew the most, at 4.6% to $64 billion and 3.9% to $75.2 billion, respectively.

Total public spending on construction dropped 3.1% in July and is down 6.5% from a year ago at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $278 billion, Commerce said. Nonresidential public spending in the power sector dropped significantly in July, by 27.1% to $7.6 billion, and is down 31.7% year-over-year. Public commercial spending is also in a dismal state, falling 12.5% in July to $2.5 billion and is down 19.5%, year-over-year.

- Nicholas Stern, editorial associate

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