Home » Construction Nov. Spending Edges Down from Oct. But Rises Year Over Year
Construction spending on projects completed in November dipped 0.4% from October’s level to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1.122 trillion but climbed 10.5% from the year-earlier total, the U.S. Census Bureau has reported.
The bureau’s latest monthly construction-put-in-place report, released on Jan. 4, also showed that spending for the first 11 months of 2015 rose 10.7%.
Residential projects’ November volume edged up 0.2% from October, to a $434.4-billion annual rate and increased 10.9% year over year, said the Census Bureau, which is part of the Commerce Dept.
Nonresidential construction put in place in November declined 0.8% from the previous month, to a $688.1-billion rate, but posted a 10.2% gain compared with November 2014.
Four sectors recorded month-to-month and year-over-year percentage increases. Educational projects totaled an $89.9-billion annual rate, climbing 3.9% from October and 13.8% from November 2014.
Office buildings hit a $59.1-billion rate, up 1.6% month to month and jumping 20.6% from the year-earlier level.
Communication projects totaled $21.9 billion, a 4.4% upturn from October and a 27.8% surge from November 2014. Non-highway transportation projects’ November rate was $45.3 billion, increasing 0.2% on a monthly basis and 3.1% year over year.
On the negative side, sewage and waste disposal’s $23.8-billion rate dropped 1.4% from October and 1.8% from November 2014. Water supply declined 7.2% for the month and 5.2% year over year, to $13 billion.
Private construction edged down 0.2% in November, month to month, to an annual rate of $829.7 billion. Public-sector construction fell 1%, to 294.3 billion.
Ken Simonson, Associated General Contractors of America’s chief economist, noted the mixed month-to-month results among industry sectors, but added, “Yet nearly every type of construction outperformed its 2014 pace through the first 11 months of 2015.”
Anirban Basu, Associated Builders and Contractors’ chief economist, sees “ominous indications“ in the Census Bureau's report. He said, After experiencing significant spending momentum early last year, that momentum has softened considerably in recent months.”
Basu noted several downbeat business and economic developments, including less robust global economic expansion. He said: “The world suddenly looks considerably riskier. That frequently translates into diminished capital availability, which ultimately translates into weaker construction spending.”