U.S. construction spending is on the rise; however, it is public construction spending leading the way. According to the Census Bureau, total spending increased 0.1% in August, but the data is 1.9% behind the figure from August 2018. The latest announcement from earlier this week states construction spending during the first eight months of 2019 is 2.3% below the same timeframe from 2018.
"The weakness lately has been in nonresidential … the fourth consecutive [monthly] decline," states a release from Wells Fargo Securities. "By contrast, lower mortgage rates likely spurred the 1.4% rise in single-family spending, which lifted residential outlays 0.9%—a welcome turnaround from the declines posted for much of the past year."
Private construction was roughly even from July to August while private residential and nonresidential spending canceled each other out. Since August 2018, total private construction is down 4%; residential is down 5%.
While total public construction is up 4.6% from August 2018, outlays on the federal side were down more than 2% in August following a decline of 2.5% in July, according to Reuters. Economists expected a slightly better increase in August of 0.4%, states the news outlet.
-Michael Miller, managing editor