Construction contributed nearly a trillion dollars to the U.S. economy on a seasonally adjusted annualized basis in July, an increase of 0.6 percent from June and 5.2 percent from July 2012 the Census Bureau announced today.   All of the improvement came from private sector construction which was up 0.9 percent for the month and 9.5 percent from one year earlier to a seasonally adjusted rate of $631.40 billion.

The private sector gains were offset in part by a slide in public expenditures which dropped to $269.42 billion from $270.11 billion in June, a loss of 0.3 percent, and were down 3.7 percent from a year earlier.

Along with office construction which increased 29.3 percent year-over-year, housing was a bright spot in the private construction sector.  Overall residential construction grew by 0.6 percent in July from a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $332.65 billion in June to $334.58 billion in July.  This rate was 17.2 percent above the $285.55 billion posted in July of 2012. 

The value of new single-family residences put in place in July grew by 0.5 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $168.19 billion from $167.35 billion the month before.  The dollar volume of construction in this sector was 29.3 percent higher than in July 2012 when expenditures for single family construction totaled $130.09 billion.

Private construction of multifamily residences rose only 0.1 percent from June's annualized figure of $31.83 billion to $31.87 billion but was 39.3 above the rate of construction in July 2012 of $22.88 billion. 

On a non-seasonally adjusted basis private residential construction contributed $31.73 billion to the economy in July compared 27.20 billion a year earlier.  Expenditures year-to-date in 2013 are $183.22 billion, 20.7 percent above the YTD figure of $151.85 billion in July 2012.

Of the July residential construction dollar $15.75 billion was for single family construction and 2.81 billion for multifamily construction.  The respective figures in 2012 were $12.19 billion and $1.98 billion.  The 2013 YTD figure for single family construction is $92.14 billion, 32.9 percent above the 2012 YTD expenditures of $69.33 billion.  Multifamily construction put in place thus far in 2013 has a value of $17.73 billion compared to $11.69 YTD in 2012, an increase of 51.7 percent.

Total public expenditures on residential construction in July were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 6.03 billion, down 3.1 percent from June and 2.4 percent from a year earlier.  On a non-seasonally adjusted basis public residential construction during the month was $517 million and year-to-date is $3.44 billion, down 4.7 percent from the 2012 YTD figure of $3.60 billion.