Overall construction spending was flat in September, held down by a drop in public sector projects. The U.S. Census Bureau said total expenditures during the month were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1.414 trillion, a 0.3 percent increase from August and up 1.5 percent on an annual basis.

On a non-adjusted basis spending was down slightly, from $130.462 billion in August to $129.103 billion. For the year-to-date (YTD), spending totals $1.059 trillion, growth of 4.1 percent compared to the first nine months of 2019.

The greatest year-over-year gain in spending has been for public safety projects. This spending is up 46.2 percent thus far in 2020, with water supply projects following with a 20.8 percent decline. The largest YTD decline (-14.0 percent) is for construction related to religion.

Privately funded construction expenditures were up 0.9 percent from August to a seasonally adjusted rate of $1.075 trillion. This is a 2.4 percent change from September 2019. The non-adjusted total for September was $95.709 billion and YTD spending is up 3.9 percent from last year at $794.944 billion.

Residential construction again outpaced overall private sector spending. Seasonally adjusted annual spending in September was at a $610.871 billion rate, up 2.8 percent for the month and 9.9 percent year-over-year. Single-family construction spending increased 5.7 percent to a rate of $305.843 billion and was 8.2 percent higher on an annual basis. New multifamily construction improved on the August numbers by 1.2 percent to $88.134 billion, 13.1 percent more than in September of last year.

On a non-adjusted basis, residential spending for the month was $55.392 billion and for the YTD is 7.8 percent higher than the same period in 2019 at $437.747 billion. Single-family spending YTD is up 3.8 percent and multifamily 2.0 percent to YTD totals of $214.752 and $62.241 billion, respectively.

Publicly funded construction fell by 1.7 percent compared to August and was 1.3 percent lower than a year earlier at a rate of $339.102 billion. At $264.044 YTD spending is 4.9 percent ahead of the same period in 2019. Residential spending was down slightly in September, a decline of 0.9 percent, but continues to dwarf spending in that area last year. The YTD total, $6.287 billion, is 34.5 percent higher than it was during the first three quarters of 2019.