Construction spending surges 0.5% in October with public sector boost
- Construction spending rose 0.5% in October to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1.173 trillion, above the upward-revised rate of $1.167 trillion in September, the Commerce Department reported Thursday.
- Private nonresidential construction spending fell 2.1% in October, and private residential construction spending grew 1.6%. Within residential, both single-family and multifamily were up 2.8% for the month. Public construction also surged 2.8% in October.
- October's construction spending figure was 3.4% above October 2015, and spending in the first 10 months of 2016 was 4.5% higher than the same period last year.
October's strong showing marked the highest construction spending level since March 2016. The 0.5% jump coincided with economist predictions, according to Reuters. The Commerce Department revised August and September's spending numbers significantly higher than initially reported — signaling that the industry has been stronger than expected in recent months.
The robust showing in the public sector is welcome news, as industry groups have consistently called on government at all levels to boost public investment in infrastructure. In a release last month, Associated General Contractors of America Chief Economist Ken Simonson said "overall construction employment would certainly be higher if local, state and federal officials were investing more to build new and repair aging infrastructure."
The significant gains in both the single-family and multifamily residential construction segments also echo high marks of builder confidence in recent surveys.
- U.S. Department of Commerce October 2016 Construction At $1,172.6 Billion Rate
- Reuters U.S. construction spending rises in October, prior months revised up