Construction spending held firm in June, inching down fractionally
from the May level and increasing a bit compared to June 2019. The U.S. Census
Bureau said total spending during the month was at a seasonally adjusted annual
rate of $1.355 trillion, down 0.7 percent from the $1.365 trillion spending
rate in May. On an annual basis the rate was up 0.1 percent.
On an unadjusted basis there was $123.377 billion spent
compared to $117.226 billion the prior month. Spending for the first six months
of the year was up 5.0 percent from the same period in 2019 at $667.920
Privately funded construction expenditures were also
down 0.7 percent month-over-month at a rate of $1.002 trillion compared to
$1.009 trillion in May. The June rate was 1.9 percent lower on an annual basis.
Private residential spending declined 1.5 percent to
$553.170 billion and was 0.8 percent below the rate in June 2019. Single-family
construction fell 3.6 percent and 7.6 percent from the two earlier periods at a
rate of $252.624 billion. Multi-family construction picked up some of the
slack, rising 3.0 percent from May to $80.022 billion, but it was 2.1 percent
lower than a year earlier.
Private spending is holding up well, however, on an
unadjusted basis. There was a total of $89.383 billion spent in June compared
to $86.889 billion in May and for the year-to-date (YTD), spending increased
4.5 percent to $507.046 billion.
The same is true of the unadjusted residential
component. Spending there was up from $47.538 in May to $49.160. Single-family
spending grew only slightly, from $22.483 billion to $22.539 billion while new
multifamily construction consumed $6.971 billion, about $300 million more than
the prior month. The census report does not break out expenditures on remodeling,
but anecdotal reports indicate that sector has been unusually active due to
retrofitting for working at home and may account for some of the $20 billion
difference between new construction and total residential spending.
Spending YTD on residential construction is up 7.5
percent from the same period last year to $272.727 billion. New single-family construction
spending rose 3.9 percent while multifamily spending was down 2.5 percent.
Spending on the two components during the first six months totaled $134.076
billion and $39.748 billion, respectively.
Public spending in June also declined by 0.7 percent
but was up 6.2 percent year-over-year at $353.300 billion. Residential spending
rose 2.7 percent to $8.137 billion, putting it 34.1 percent higher than in June
2019. Public spending on all construction thus far in 2020 totals $160.874
billion, a 6.6 percent increase over 2019. Residential spending YTD is up 30.7
percent to $3.756 billion.