Construction Spending In August Reaches Highest Level Since 2008

Construction spending rose to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1,086.2 billion in August according to the U.S. Census Bureau, with total nonresidential construction at $696.3 billion. This marks the ninth consecutive month of increased spending going back to December 2014. The annual rate of construction spending has seen gradual increases over the past few months, but has managed to stay above $1 trillion since it hit that mark in March. The last time construction spending was this high was back in May 2008.


Construction spending increased 0.7% from July to August with July’s preliminary estimate being revised down from $1,083.4 billion to $1,079.1 billion. June’s estimate of $1,075.9 billion was also revised down to $1,074.3 billion. August’s preliminary annual rate is 13.7% higher than the $955.0 billion for August 2014.

Construction spending for January through August 2015 totaled $683.4 billion. This is 9.8% higher than the $622.4 billion spent during the eight months of 2014.

The seasonally adjusted annual rate for private construction during August was at $788.0 billion. Private construction spending for July was revised down from $787.8 to $782.3 billion and June’s rate was revised down from $777.4 billion to $773.5 billion. Private nonresidential construction increased to $404.7 billion, up slightly from June’s revised figure of $403.8 billion.


Public construction spending increased 0.5% in August to $298.2 billion. July’s preliminary estimate of $295.6 billion was revised up to $296.8 billion.  June also saw a slight increase, being revised up from $298.5 billion to $$300.8 billion.

While total construction spending has gradually increased every month in 2015, both private and public construction spending have had some hiccups. The seasonally adjusted annual rate for private construction dropped in June, while public construction saw decreases most recently in July, but also back-to-back in January and February.

We’re definitely back to pre-recession numbers and it appears that 2015 will mark the fourth year of growth for annual construction put in place (CPIP) and will be the first time in seven years that CPIP was above $1 trillion.

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