Public Construction Spending Contracting Faster than Private Spending Expands In September 2011

US Census says construction spending is up 0.2% month-over-month but down 3.5% seasonally adjusted in September 2011.  The improving data for the last three months has been made “less good” through significant backward revision.

Econintersect’s analysis:

  • Down 0.9% month-over-month and Down 2.0% year-over-year
  • Inflation adjusted construction spending down 0.9% month-over-month – and down 1.0% year-over-year.

Our weekend article Don’t Look Now but Construction Spending is Up Y-o-Y showed how deep construction has contracted, and the trends going forward.  Most importantly, how construction contraction has played a major role in the USA’s current unemployment crisis.

Construction spending has now been declining year-over-year for 47 straight months.   That is almost four years of headwinds for GDP.  For a brief period last month, construction spending improved year-over-year – no more do to the backward data revisions.

The U.S. Census Bureau of the Department of Commerce announced today that construction spending during September 2011 was estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $787.2 billion, 0.2 percent (±1.8%)* above the revised August estimate of $786.0 billion. The September figure is 1.3 percent (±1.9%)* below the September 2010 estimate of $797.3 billion.
During the first 9 months of this year, construction spending amounted to $580.9 billion, 3.5 percent (±1.3%) below the $602.0 billion for the same period in 2010.

PRIVATE CONSTRUCTION – Spending on private construction was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $501.8 billion, 0.6 percent (±1.1%)* above the revised August estimate of $499.0 billion. Residential construction was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $228.3 billion in September, 0.9 percent (±1.3%)* above the revised August estimate of $226.3 billion. Nonresidential construction was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $273.5 billion in September, 0.3 percent (±1.1%)* above the revised August estimate of $272.8 billion.

PUBLIC CONSTRUCTION – In September, the estimated seasonally adjusted annual rate of public construction spending was $285.4 billion, 0.6 percent (±2.6%)* below the revised August estimate of $287.0 billion. Educational construction was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $73.3 billion, 0.9 percent (±3.5%)* below the revised August estimate of $73.9 billion. Highway construction was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $80.3 billion, 1.4 percent (±6.4%)* above the revised August estimate of $79.2 billion.

The reason for the decline can be laid squarely on public sector construction which is down 9.1% year-over-year.  Private construction is up 3.1% year-over-year.

The bottom line is that public construction spending is contracting as fast as private spending is improving.

Related Articles:

All Construction Spending Articles

Share this Econintersect Article:
  • Print
  • Digg
  • Facebook
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Twitter
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • Wikio
  • email
  • RSS
This entry was posted in Construction Spending and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.










Make a Comment

Econintersect wants your comments, data and opinion on the articles posted.  As the internet is a "war zone" of trolls, hackers and spammers - Econintersect must balance its defences against ease of commenting.  We have joined with Livefyre to manage our comment streams.

To comment, just click the "Sign In" button at the top-left corner of the comment box below. You can create a commenting account using your favorite social network such as Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn or Open ID - or open a Livefyre account using your email address.