Overall construction spending in
December was flat compared to November, rising a scant 0.1 percent. Private spending on residential construction,
primarily single-family housing, was the sole bright spot in Monday's U.S. Census
Total public and private construction
spending in December was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $930.49
billion compared to $929.93 billion in November. This was a 5.3 percent improvement over the
annual rate of $883.55 in December 2012. Of that spending, $357.42 billion was
residential spending, an increase of 2.4 percent from November and 17.5 percent
from a year earlier.
Private residential construction
spending was at an annual rate of $352.61 billion, over half of all of the
$663.93 billion of private construction put in place in December on an
annualized basis. Of that residential
spending, $181.74 billion was for new single-family and $35.62 billion was new multi-family
construction. Single-family construction was up 3.4 percent
from $175.73 billion in November and 21.6 percent higher than the $149.40 billion
spent in December 2013. Multifamily
construction spending improved 0.5 percent on a monthly basis from $35.43
billion and 27.3 percent from $27.97 billion a year earlier.
Publicly funded construction continued
to decline with total expenditures of $266.56 billion on a seasonally adjusted
annual basis, down 2.3 percent month over month and 0.7 percent annually. The December rates of spending fell further for
the residential construction category than any of the Census categories, down
11.5 percent from November, and dropped 20.2 percent on an annual basis.
On a non-seasonally adjusted basis residential
spending during the month was $25.75 billion compared to 28.37 billion in
November and $21.57 billion a year earlier. All but $385 million of the December
residential spending came from the private sector.