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Construction Spending on the Upswing

Overall construction spending increased by 3.0 percent year-over-year according to the latest monthly Construction Spending Report released by the U.S. Census Bureau. The report also found a month-over-month spending increase, with overall construction spending inching upwards from $1,272.2 billion in January 2018 (revised) to $1,273.1 billion in February.

Private construction hit a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $982 billion in February, up 0.7 percent over the revised January estimate of $974.8 billion. Breaking things down further,  residential construction in February reached a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $533.4 billion, creeping up 0.1 percent above the revised January estimate of $532.9 billion. On the nonresidential side of things, construction for February was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $448.6 billion in February, up 1.5 percent over the revised January estimate of $441.9 billion.

The Census Bureau reports that new single-family construction increased 0.1 percent month-over-month, reaching a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $281.8 billion in February, up from $279.2 billion in January. Compared to February 2017, however, new single-family construction increased 9.5 percent.

Public construction took a downturn in February, with the estimated seasonally adjusted annual rate of public construction spending hitting $291.1 billion for the month. This was 2.1 percent below the revised January estimate of $297.4 billion. Under the public construction umbrella, educational construction was measured at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $74.6 billion, 0.5 percent below the revised January estimate of $75 billion. Highway construction was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $88.5 billion, 0.2 percent below the revised January estimate of $88.7 billion.

The Bureau will release its next construction spending report—which will cover March 2018's figures—on May 1, 2018.

About Author: David Wharton

David Wharton, Managing Editor at the Five Star Institute, is a graduate of the University of Texas at Arlington, where he received his B.A. in English and minored in Journalism. Wharton has over 16 years' experience in journalism and previously worked at Thomson Reuters, a multinational mass media and information firm, as Associate Content Editor, focusing on producing media content related to tax and accounting principles and government rules and regulations for accounting professionals. Wharton has an extensive and diversified portfolio of freelance material, with published contributions in both online and print media publications. Wharton and his family currently reside in Arlington, Texas. He can be reached at David.Wharton@thefivestar.com.
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