Economy Watch: Construction Spending Drops in September

Both private spending and public spending decreased in September.

Berlin_Alexanderplatz_construction_cranesThe Census Bureau reported on Monday that U.S. construction spending during September came in at an annualized rate of $1,150 billion, or 0.4 percent below the August total. The September 2016 figure is also 0.2 percent below the September 2015 total, the bureau said.

Both private spending and public spending decreased in September. Spending on private construction projects was down 0.2 percent month-over-month, while public construction spending dropped even more, by 0.9 percent. Private construction spending gained 2.4 percent for the year, but public construction dropped by a sizable 7.8 percent. Spending on power, public safety, transportation, water and sewage projects all dropped by double-digit percentages since a year ago.

In the private sector, spending on new multifamily projects gained 2 percent for the month and 9.1 percent for the year, while single-family spending barely moved for the month (up 0.1 percent) and lost 2.9 percent for the year.

Spending on office and hotel construction continued to grow on an annual basis in September, though they didn’t change much for the month. Hotel spending was up 23.7 percent for the year, while office spending gained 27.2 compared with last year. Spending on new manufacturing facilities dropped by 6.8 percent for the year as the strong dollar makes life tough for exporters.