Economy Watch: Construction Spending Edges Down in June

Private and public spending both decreased in June, with all property types seeing a decline aside from office construction, according to the U.S. Census Bureau's latest report.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, June 2017
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, June 2017

U.S. construction spending during June came in at an annualized rate of $1,205.8 billion, or 1.3 percent below the revised May total of $1,221.6 billion, which was lower than economists expected (the consensus was for growth). The June figure is, however, still 1.6 percent above the June 2016 total of $1,186.4 billion, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Private and public spending both decreased in June. Spending on private construction projects was 0.1 percent below the revised May figure, while public construction spending was 5.4 percent off the revised May total.

Property-wide decline

Construction spending on almost all property types was down in June. Office construction was an exception, gaining 1.9 percent for the month. Construction on communications projects was also up, by 2.8 percent. Residential spending dropped 0.3 percent.

For the year, some kinds of construction—private projects, especially—still gained ground. Office projects were particularly healthy, gaining 11 percent in spending, and residential construction spending was up 9 percent compared with a year ago. Spending on manufacturing projects dropped 7.3 percent for the year, as exports languished.