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Construction Spending increased 0.2% in April

From the Census Bureau reported that overall construction spending increased:

Construction spending during April 2021 was estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1,524.2 billion, 0.2 percent above the revised March estimate of $1,521.0 billion. The April figure is 9.8 percent above the April 2020 estimate of $1,387.9 billion.
emphasis added

Private spending increased and public spending decreased:

Spending on private construction was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1,180.7 billion, 0.4 percent above the revised March estimate of $1,175.4 billion. …

In April, the estimated seasonally adjusted annual rate of public construction spending was $343.5 billion, 0.6 percent below the revised March estimate of $345.6 billion.

Construction Spending 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 7% above the bubble peak (in nominal terms – not adjusted for inflation).

Non-residential spending is 9% above the previous peak in January 2008 (nominal dollars), but has been weak recently.

Public construction spending is 6% above the previous peak in March 2009, and 31% above the austerity low in February 2014.

Year-over-year Construction SpendingThe second graph shows the year-over-year change in construction spending.

On a year-over-year basis, private residential construction spending is up 29.7%. Non-residential spending is down 4.8% year-over-year. Public spending is down 2.2% year-over-year.

Construction was considered an essential service in most areas and did not decline sharply like many other sectors, but it seems likely that non-residential will be under pressure. For example, lodging is down 21.8% YoY, multi-retail down 28.4% YoY, and office down 1.6% YoY.

This was below consensus expectations of a 0.6% increase in spending, however construction spending for the previous two months combined, was revised up slightly.

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