Construction spending is on the decline after a slight dip in March. According to the latest data from the Census Bureau, total construction spending is at a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of $1.28 trillion, nearly 1% below February's revised estimate. March is also nearly a percent behind the pace from March 2018. Spending for the first three months of the year is also down compared to the first quarter of 2018.
Private and public construction spending each saw their own declines in the latest data released earlier this week. Private spending as a whole dropped almost 1% month over month. Nonresidential construction was the only saving grace with a half a percent improvement in March. The opposite is true on the public side, where residential spending improved a tenth of a percent.
"The drop in [total] residential spending mirrors the slight decline in housing starts during March," a release from Wells Fargo Securities states. "Despite lower mortgage rates, homebuilding has struggled to gain momentum so far this year."
March saw the first declines in total spending since November 2018.
-Michael Miller, managing editor