Thursday, May 1, 2014

Construction Spending Improves Modestly in March

Construction spending increased 0.2% in March, and improved 8.4% over year-ago levels. The report included downward revisions to the previous two months as well. Given the revised decline of 0.2% in February and 0.4% in January, March was expected to have a bigger rebound effect. Both private residential and nonresidential contributed to March’s growth.

Construction spending growth was driven by strong growth in private residential construction, which increased 0.8% and 16% from year ago levels. Private non-residential construction increased 0.2% from the month prior and 8.6% year-over-year. Construction spending in the Northeast and Midwest, the two regions most impacted by the winter, drove March’s gains.

Government spending declined 0.6%, and is down 0.5% from March 2013. Government construction spending should continue an overall downward trend as the government cuts back spending that was ramped up during the recession and recovery.

Read the Census report.

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