U.S. Construction Spending Drops 1.7% in March

Construction spending fell to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1,284.7 billion in March. This is 1.7% below February’s estimate which was revised up significantly from $1,273.1 billion to $1,306.4 billion. January’s estimate of $1,272.2 billion was also revised up again to $1,294.0 billion. Despite the monthly drop, construction spending in March 2018 was up 3.6% from a year ago when the March 2017 seasonally adjusted annual rate was $1,240.0 billion.

Total construction put in place (CPIP) through the first quarter of 2018 was $279.0 billion, a 5.5% increase over the first quarter of 2017 where total CPIP was $264.5 billion.

Total nonresidential construction spending was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $741.0 billion. This is down 0.3% from February’s estimate of $742.8 billion which was revised up from $732.8 billion. Total nonresidential put in place through the first quarter of 2018 was $160.9 billion.

Total residential construction was at an estimated seasonally adjusted annual rate of $543.8 billion in March. This is 3.5% lower than February’s estimate which was revised up from $540.3 billion to $563.6 billion. Nonresidential CPIP for the first quarter of 2018 totaled $118.1 billion.

Total private construction spending in March was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $987.5 billion. This is 2.1% lower than February’s estimate which was revised up from $982.0 billion to $1,009.1 billion. January’s estimate for private construction spending was revised up from $974.8 billion to $997.0 billion. Spending on private construction through the first quarter of 2018 was $220.4 billion.

Private nonresidential construction spending in March was at a seasonally annual adjusted rate of $450.7 billion. This was 0.4% lower than February’s estimate which was revised up from $448.6 billion to $452.5 billion. Private nonresidential CPIP through March 2018 was $103.8 billion.

March’s private residential construction spending was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $536.8 billion. This is 3.5% below February’s estimate which has been revised up from $533.4 billion to $556.5 billion. Private residential CPIP through the first quarter of 2018 was $116.6 billion.

The seasonally adjusted annual rate for public construction spending in March was $297.2 billion. March’s estimate was virtually unchanged from February’s estimate which was revised up from $291.1 billion to $297.3 billion. January’s estimate was revised down from $297.4 billion to $297.1 billion.

The March 2018 seasonally adjusted annual rate was up 3.0% from a year ago when the March 2017 estimate was $288.7 billion. Total public CPIP through March 2018 was $58.6 billion, a 6.7% increase from the same time period a year ago.

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