Total construction spending rose in February however the increase was almost totally in the publicly funded sector.  The Census Bureau said total spending was up 1.0 percent from January to a seasonally adjusted rate of $1.320 trillion compared to $1.307 trillion in January and was 1.1 percent higher than the rate in February 2018.

Privately funded spending, at a rate of $994.546 billion, represented only a 0.2 percent gain over the $992.961 billion rate in January and fell 1.9 percent year-over-year.  In contrast the much smaller part of the industry represented by public spending jumped 3.6 percent from January and 11.5 percent year over year. 

On a non-adjusted basis there was $91.821 billion spent on construction during the month compared to $90.047 billion in January.  On a year-to-date basis, the $181.868 billion spent during the first two months of 2019 is a 1.4 percent increase over the same period in 2018.

 The non-adjusted figure for privately funding spending during the month was $71.485 billion, up from $70.478 billion in January. YTD spending was down 0.6 percent to $141.963 billion.

Both single-family and multifamily private construction spending moved lower on a seasonally adjusted basis although overall residential spending was up 0.7 percent from January to $540.897 billion.  It dropped by 3.4 percent compared to the previous February.  

Spending on single-family construction was down 1.1 percent to $267.179 billion and was 7.1 percent lower than a year earlier.  Multifamily spending fell 0.4 percent for the month but was up 7.5 percent year over year.  In addition to single-family and multi-family new construction, the overall residential number includes maintenance and remodeling which could account for the higher performance reflected in January to February total.

Non-adjusted residential spending in February was $37.051 billion, up from $35.682 in January, but it was down 2.5 percent from the first two months of 2018.  Single-family spending fell from $18.708 billion in January to $17.758 in February and multifamily spending was flat at just over $5.1 billion.  Single-family spending YTD is down 6.2 percent while there has been 11.0 percent growth in the multifamily number thus far this year.

Total public spending was $325.769 on a seasonally adjusted basis compared to $314.373 billion in January.  Residential spending, which is always a small line item, grew even smaller, shrinking 0.6 percent for the month to $5.652 billion and by 16.3 percent compared to February 2018.  On a non-adjusted basis, total spending was $20.336 billion and residential spending $0.402 billion.  The year to date numbers were up 8.9 percent for overall spending but down 15.7 percent for residential spending to $39.905 billion and $0.794 billion respectively.