Economist's Insights

Construction Spending Boosted by Public Projects

Nov 1, 2017

Construction spending for the month of September beat expectations rising 0.3% MoM.  However, August’s 0.5% growth was revised lower to just 0.1%.  All told, construction spending is now roughly where economists expected but with a weaker August rate and a stronger September rate.  Residential construction was boosted by a rare 0.6% MoM gain in multi-family activity while single family activity rose 0.2% and home improvements fell 0.6%.  Non-residential construction fell 0.8% MoM on weakness in manufacturing, power, commercial, and office activity.  Public construction projects were boosted 2.6% MoM on 5% jumps in both educational and transportation construction.  Private residential (+9.6% YoY) continues to be the primary driver of overall construction activity as single family construction (+11.9%) has ramped up in 2017.