U.S. construction spending claws up 1.1 percent in October

Dec 5, 2014, 1:57pm MST

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Spending on construction in October almost hit $971 billion across the U.S. in October, climbing 1.1 percent over September.

Reporter- Phoenix Business Journal
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Spending on construction in October almost hit $971 billion across the U.S. in October, climbing 1.1 percent over September.

It was an anemic increase, but the biggest since last December's 2 percent rise over the prior month. For the year-over-year comparison, construction spending is up 3.3 percent.

The report by the U.S. Census Bureau said that the rise in October is the first increase of more than 1 percent in 11 months. Construction spending has been flat for a year. Continuing at its pace, construction will top $970 million for the year, a 1 percent increase over 2013. At least the number is up, but 2012 and 2013 both were higher than 8 percent over the prior years.

The biggest activity increases for the month were in public safety, which climbed 11 percent after six consecutive declining months. Conservation and development was second with a 4.6 percent increase, followed by a 3.4 percent increase in manufacturing construction and 3.3 for new lodging.

Public spending was up 2.3 percent for the month. Residential construction rose 1.3 percent over September and 1.7 percent over 2013.

Religious construction was down 3.7 percent, and commercial dropped 2.2 percent. All other categories were statistically flat.

The numbers reinforce the economic "purr" that Moody's Capital Chief Economist John Lonski told the audience at the Arizona State University 2015 Economic Forum on Dec. 3. He said that the numbers are going up, but that the recover is "a purr, not a roar."

Arizona's construction spending through September, the last month for which data are available, was up 1.7 percent over last year.

Eric covers economic development, banking and finance, infrastructure, transportation and utilities.


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