May Construction Spending Hits Highest Level In Over 6 Years

The seasonally adjusted annual rate of construction spending for May 2015 climbed to $1,035.8 billion. This is the third consecutive month that construction spending was above the $1 trillion mark with April’s figure being revised up from $1,006.1 billion to $1,027.0 billion and March’s $984.0 billion being revised up to $1,006.4 billion. May marks the sixth consecutive month of growth for annual construction spending. For some perspective, the last time construction spending was this high was back in October 2008 when it hit $1,051.2 billion.

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Construction spending for the first five months of the year was at $382.1 billion. This is 5.9 percent higher than the $360.8 billion spent during January through May 2014.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, private construction spending increased 0.9 percent in May to $752.4 billion over April’s revised figure of $745.6 billion. March’s estimate was revised up top to $729.7 billion and February’s estimate was revised up to $720.8 billion. Private nonresidential construction spending was at $392.8 billion in May.

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The annual rate for public construction spending rose from $281.5 billion in April to $283.4 billion in May. March’s public construction spending estimate was revised up to $276.6 billion.

We’re keeping an eye on the news to see if Congress can get a long-term highway funding bill passed before the end of the month since that appears to the only major stumbling block on the path to seeing construction spending total over $1 trillion for the year. This is something that hasn’t happened since 2008 when total construction spending for the year totaled $1,068.4 billion.

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