Spending on construction was almost flat in April.  The Census Bureau said total expenditures of both public and private money was essentially unchanged from the seasonally adjusted estimate in March of $1.30 trillion.  The March number was revised from $1.28 trillion.  The April spending number was 1.2 percent lower than the annual rate in April 2018.

On an unadjusted 43, total spending was $106.72 billion compared to $99.92 billion in March and $107.21 one year earlier.   For the year-to-date (YTD) the aggregate amount spent on all construction was $386.11 billion, a slight 0.2 percent lower than the total for the first four months of 2018, $385.47 billion.

Privately funded construction consumed spending at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $953.98 billion, down 1.7 percent from March and 6.0 percent less than in April 2016.  On a non-adjusted basis there was $80.19 billion spent compared to $77.49 billion in March and $84.30 billion in April 2018.  YTD spending on all private construction was $296.79 billion, a decline of 2.9 percent from the total for the same period last year.

Residential spending dropped 0.6 percent from March to $499.32 billion with new single-family construction spending nearly identical to that in March - $264.75 billion.  Multifamily construction spending picked up some of the slack, gaining 2.3 percent for the month and rising 7.9 percent year-over-year. Overall residential construction is down 11.4 percent on an annual basis and single-family spending fell short by 7.6 percent.

On a non-adjusted basis there was $42.74 billion spent in April on all residential construction, $21.46 billion of it on single-family houses.  The respective numbers for March were $40.18 and $20.66 billion.  YTD residential outlays total $151.90 billion compared to $164.37 billion, a decline of 7.6 percent.  Similar numbers apply to single family YTD performance with the 2019 total at $78.64 billion down 7.1 percent from 2018's $84.65 billion.  Multifamily spending is up 7.9 percent from the same period last year.

Wells Fargo pointed out that the number implied in the census data for home improvement spending was down 2.5 percent.  This continues a trend that the National Association of Home Builders identified last month.

Publicly funded construction in April was much stronger than the private sector's.  On a seasonally adjusted annual basis the $344.57 billion rate was up 4.8 percent from March and 15.1 percent compared to the previous April.  Residential spending was also up, by 4.6 percent, while remaining fractionally lower than a year earlier.   YTD public spending is up 11.8 percent to $89.32 billion, about $10.5 billion higher than the same period last year.