Perhaps construction spending is finally emerging from the doldrums where it has lingered for months.  For the second month in a row the Census Bureau reports an uptick in total spending and in its publicly and privately funded components.

Total construction spending posted a 0.9 percent gain in November to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1.18 trillion from the revised (from $1.172 trillion) $1.171 trillion in October.  This is 4.1 percent above the spending rate in November 2015.  Expenditures in the first 11 months of 2016 totaled $1.07 trillion compared to $1.03 trillion for the same period in 2015, an increase of 4.4 percent.

Privately funded construction was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $892.8 billion, 1.0 percent higher than the October total, which was revised from $885.9 billion to $884.3 billion, and a 4.6 percent gain from a year earlier.

Privately funded spending on residential construction was also up 1.0 percent to an annual rate of $462.91 billion and was 3.0 percent higher on a year-over-year basis.  The gain in residential construction was all in the single-family sector which increased 1.8 percent although it was down 0.9 percent from a year earlier.  Conversely, multi-family spending dropped 2.7 percent from October but remained 10.7 percent above its November 2015 pace.

Spending on residential construction was $420,95 billion through the end of November compared to $400.84 billion during the same period a year earlier, an increase of 5.0 percent.  Single family spending year to date grew by 4.5 percent while multi-family construction was up 17.1 percent.

Publicly funded construction rose 0.8 percent to $289.28 billion from $287.10 billion in October and is 2.6 percent ahead of the November 2015 pace.  Year-to-date spending, however, is down 0.9 percent.