The seasonally adjusted annual rate of construction spending for January 2015 was at $971.4 billion according to the U.S. Census Bureau. This is down 1.1 percent from the newly revised estimate for December 2014 of $982.0 billion. While this isn’t the start to the year that we were expecting, the January 2015 estimate is 1.8 percent higher than the annual rate for January 2014 of $954.6 billion.
With the winter weather and a short month in February we might not see an increase in the spending rate until March. Here’s hoping for an early spring and an increase in construction activity to get us back on track.
Private construction spending was at an annual rate of $697.6 billion, down slightly from the revised December 2014 amount of $700.9 billion. This was fairly evenly split between private residential construction spending ($351.7 billion) and private nonresidential construction spending ($345.9 billion).
Public construction spending in January 2015 was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $273.8 which was 2.6 percent lower than the revised rate of $281.1 for December 2014. Surprisingly, highway construction spending in January was at $88.3 billion which was up from the $87.8 billion reported for December 2014.
It’s still very early in the year so making any long-term forecasts based on one month of figures is a bit presumptuous. This year we should still see an increase in construction spending totals over 2014 figures and total CPIP should be around 7 percent higher than 2014 figures, but we’ll have a better grasp on the situation in a couple of months.