U.S. construction spending up 0.1% in Aug. on nonresidential gains

Bridge Construction

Though decreases in spending on residential projects restricted growth in August, gains from the nonresidential side powered the U.S. construction industry to spending an increase of 0.1 percent.

The seasonally adjusted annual rate for construction spending rose to $1.318 trillion, according to the latest data from the Commerce Department. The figure is 6.5 percent higher than the August 2017 total.

Spending on private home construction, which includes renovations and improvements, fell 0.7 percent to $549 billion in August, but remains 4.8 percent above the year-ago figure. A 1.7-percent decrease in spending on multi-family projects to $58.5 billion was largely responsible for the overall decrease. With the decrease, multi-family spending is 0.6 percent behind the August 2017 figure.

Single-family spending too was down, falling 0.7 percent to $285 billion.

Total nonresidential spending rose 0.7 percent during August to $763 billion and is 8.4 percent above the August 2017 figure. Top percentage increases were conservation and development, up 6.5 percent to $9.6 billion; water supply, up 4.5 percent to $16 billion; and amusement and recreation, up 2.7 percent $27 billion. Top percentage declines were commercial, down 1 percent to $91 billion; religious, down 0.9 percent to $3 billion; and manufacturing, down 0.4 percent to $64 billion.

Spending on highway and street construction projects rose 1.7 percent during August to $99 billion, up 14 percent over the August 2017 figure.

Total spending on private construction projects fell 0.5 percent during August to $1 trillion. The figure is 4.4 percent higher than the August 2017 figure. Total public construction spending rose 2 percent in August to $317 billion and is up 14 percent over the year-ago figure.