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Construction Spending Dips Slightly in December
But Modest Gains Made in 2016 versus 2015


The Census Bureau's construction spending report for the month of December contained a mixed bag of information.

Overall construction spending in 2016, estimated at $1.162 trillion, was 4.5 percent higher than 2015, according to Census Bureau data in its December report.

Private sector spending in 2016, at $876.3 billion, was 6.4 percent above 2015. Private residential construction last year, at $456.2 billion, was 5.2 percent better than the year prior; and private nonresidential construction, at $420.1 billion, climbed 7.8 percent from 2015 to 2016.

Construction spending in the public sector in 2016, at $286.0 billion, was 1.0 percent below 2015.

Overall spending in December, estimated at $1.181 trillion, was 0.2 percent lower than November.

However, the data comparing last month to December 2015 tells a different story: Combined private and public sector spending was 4.2 percent higher; total residential gained 3.6 percent; and total nonresidential was up 4.6 percent. The latter category was led by a 31 percent jump in office construction -- lodging improved nearly 20 percent; commercial was up 12.0 percent; and amusement and recreation increased 13.0 percent.

Data for January 2017 will be released March 1.

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August 18, 2018, 10:31 pm PDT

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