Publicly funded construction accounted for most of the gain in overall construction spending in January.  The Census Department said on Tuesday that spending on all construction was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1.14 trillion during the month, an increase of 1.5 percent over December spending.  Spending in the public sector rose 4.5 percent driven by a large gain in the highway and street category.

Total spending rose 10.4 percent above the January 2015 figure of $1.03 trillion.  On an unadjusted basis $77.59 billion in construction spending was put in place during the month, down from unadjusted spending of $86.53 billion in December but 9.5 percent more than was spent in January 2015.

Private sector spending was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $831.41 billion, a 0.5 percent change from December and up 9.5 percent from a year earlier.  Residential spending was unchanged on a month-over-month basis from the annual rate of $433.16 billion estimated in December but did rise 7.7 percent from a year earlier.  Spending on single-family construction fell by 0.2 percent from December to $230.05 on an annual basis, remaining 6.6 percent higher than in January 2015.  Spending on new multi-family construction rose 2.6 percent from December and was 30.4 percent above the level a year before.

On a non-adjusted basis $29.13 billion was spent on new residential construction compared to $31.91 billion in December and $26.96 billion in January 2015.  Single family construction was down from 17.14 billion unadjusted in December to 15.94 billion while multi-family spending was essentially unchanged at $4.54 billion.

Total spending on construction in the public sector was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $309.47 billion compared to $296.15 billion in December and it increased 13.0 percent year-over-year.  Spending on residential construction was $5.79 billion, down 1.9 percent from December and 1.7 percent from January 2015.  Spending was strongest in the highway construction sector, up 14.7 percent on a monthly basis and by just over a third year over year.