Construction spending is on the decline year-over-year, yet it remained unchanged in April. April 2019 numbers, released by the Census Bureau earlier this week, are 1.2% behind April 2018 data; however, spending in the first third of 2019 is slightly above the same timetable in 2018.
"The clear standout was the public sector, which rose 4.8% during the month and outweighed a 1.7% drop in private outlays," states a release from Wells Fargo Securities. "Warmer weather has allowed more road projects to get underway," and highway and street spending jumped nearly 7% in April.
Total private construction spending is down 6% compared to April 2018, while public spending is up over 15%. Private spending is at its lowest level since January 2017. Private residential spending has plagued the overall data with a decline of 11.4% from April last year. Meanwhile, public commercial spending is up more than 40% since April 2018.
Economists expected construction spending to increase 0.4% in April, states Reuters.
-Michael Miller, managing editor