U.S. Construction Spending Up Slightly In March
Total U.S. construction spending was reported up 0.1% in March to $808.1 billion SAAR after falling 1.4% in February. Year-to-date not seasonally adjusted (NSA) construction spending was up 6.7% from the same period last year, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
New single family construction increased 3.8% monthly and 10.2% annually in March while new multifamily dropped 1.8% m-o-m. However, compared to March 2011, new multifamily construction spending increased 8.8%. New residential spending gained 2.8% from February and 10% from March 2011. Nonresidential building construction dropped a slight 0.1% in March to $288.1 billion SAAR, which is 2.4% higher than in March 2011. Total residential spending, including improvements was up 0.7%, following a 2.2% decline the previous month. On an annual basis, total residential spending is up 6.7% compared to March 2011.
Heavy engineering (non-building) construction spending fell 0.3%, making the third consecutive decline. Total public construction spending fell for the fourth month in a row, dropping 1.1% while total private construction spending gained 0.7%.
Reed Construction Data forecasts total construction spending for 2012 at $819.6 billion, which is a 3.8% increase. RCD estimates strong growth in the residential sector, with 10.6% forecast annual growth in new single-family and 7.9% growth in multifamily components. Nonresidential building and heavy engineering spending is forecast to increase 5.1% and 2% y-o-y respectively.
Sources: U.S. Census Bureau & Reed Construction Data