Public Construction Spending Up, Private Spending Down
According to the Commerce Department, construction spending rose by 1.3%, the largest increase since last April. Following December 2018's 0.8% drop, most of the spending comes from companies investing in public projects. Looking at spending on a year-over-year basis, there was a 0.3% increase.
With much of the spending in public projects, investments in these endeavors increased about 5%, reaching the highest level since 2010. Spending on federal government projects also saw an increase, bumping up by just over 4%. After federal projects saw a sharp decline in December 2018 with a deficit of nearly 2%, they kicked off 2019 with a resurgence.
Public spending continues to rise, but with a weakening housing market, private construction saw smaller strides. Private construction projects rose only 0.2% after falling for two months in a row, and investment in private residential projects only 0.3%, the sixth month-in-a-row that investments dipped. Investments in homebuilding also fell, sinking to the weakest level since 2010.
—Christie Citranglo, editorial associate