Keeping you up to date on the latest data releases.
In April, private construction ticked up slightly for a gain of 1.7 percent over the month. While spending is down about 10 percent over the year, the April increase is the largest we’ve seen in five months. Both residential and nonresidential construction spending posted gains over the month, but residential came in much stronger (up 3 percent over the month) than nonresidential (up 0.5 percent over the month). All of the gains in residential spending came through home improvement spending, which was up 7.6 percent over the month from a downwardly revised March number. Interestingly, spending on home improvements is down as much as spending on new housing over the year, about 12 percent. On the nonresidential side, six industries were down over the month while five were up, bringing the topside number to $250.8 billion (seasonally adjusted annual rate). Nonresidential spending is currently around levels last seen in 2005. Notably, manufacturing experienced a small decrease over the month, after increasing in February and March.