Construction spending is still being impacted by COVID-19; however, outlays fell slightly lower than expected in April. Despite the better-than-expected fall, April's 2.9% drop was the worst since October 2018, according to Reuters. However, spending in April was 3% higher than April 2019, according to a release from the Census Bureau.
Construction spending during the first four months was also 7.1% above the same time period in 2019. Private spending was down 3% in April, and public construction was 2.5% lower. "The construction industry, much of which was deemed 'essential' during lockdowns, is likely holding up a little bit better than other parts of the economy," states a release from Wells Fargo Securities.
Much of both the public and private sectors were below numbers from March. Private construction, however, was up 3.8% from April 2019. Private residential spending, while down 4.5% from March, was up more than 6% from April 2019.
Economists expected total construction spending to slip 6.5% in April, states Reuters.
-Michael Miller, managing editor