Construction Spending Down in April 2011

Construction spending is down 9.64% year-over-year (YoY) in April 2011 using unadjusted data, and worse than the 7.99% YoY decline in March 2011.  Using seasonal adjustments, the US Census has determined this decline is really an improvement.

The U.S. Census Bureau of the Department of Commerce announced today that construction spending during April 2011 was estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $765.0 billion, 0.4 percent (±1.6%)* above the revised March estimate of $762.1 billion. The April figure is 9.3 percent (±1.6%) below the April 2010 estimate of $843.1 billion.

During the first 4 months of this year, construction spending amounted to $222.7 billion, 8.4 percent (±1.4%) below the $243.0 billion for the same period in 2010.

PRIVATE CONSTRUCTION – Spending on private construction was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $483.0 billion, 1.7 percent (±1.4%) above the revised March estimate of $474.7 billion. Residential construction was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $232.1 billion in April, 3.1 percent (±1.3%) above the revised March estimate of $225.1 billion. Nonresidential construction was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $250.8 billion in April, 0.5 percent (±1.4%)* above the revised March estimate of $249.6 billion.

PUBLIC CONSTRUCTION – In April, the estimated seasonally adjusted annual rate of public construction spending was $282.0 billion, 1.9 percent (±2.2%)* below the revised March estimate of $287.4 billion. Educational construction was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $67.3 billion, 2.7 percent (±3.4%)* below the revised March estimate of $69.2 billion. Highway construction was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $77.5 billion, 1.6 percent (±7.8%)* below the revised March estimate of $78.7 billion.

When viewing the graph above, it is difficult to spot the improvement – but when you do a simple YoY change analysis (below graph), it is ludicrous to even insinuate there was any improvement.

This is an exact reversal of last months analysis of the data (analysis here).  The government downwardly revised February and March data pulling the trend line from positive to negative.

Private spending is down 10.5% year to date, while public sector spending is down 4.2% year to date using unadjusted data.  Public sector cutbacks are now starting to bite – and the headwinds should be growing as the year progresses.

The trend line shift to negative is interesting – but construction is not an economic driver in the new normal.  Whether it is an indicator of a much larger economic contraction will be evident in the coming months.

Related Article

Construction Spending Still Falling in March 2011  by Steven Hansen

Construction Spending Downward Spiral Continues in February 2011  by Steven Hansen

Yup – Construction Spending Has Almost Fallen off the Chart  by Steven Hansen

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. You can also comment using Facebook directly using he comment block below.