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U.S. construction spending slips 3 per cent in February

U.S. construction spending slips 3 per cent in February

ARLINGTON, VA. — Total U.S. construction spending declined from January to February to an annual rate of nearly $2.1 trillion, but all categories posted year-over-year gains, according to an analysis of a new government report that the released April 1.

Association officials suggested in a release the monthly decline could have been caused by changes in winter weather patterns, including heavy rain and snow in the west, during February.

“There were monthly decreases for nearly all types of nonresidential projects,” said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist, in a statement. “But every spending segment increased from a year earlier, suggesting the current downturns may reflect short-term challenges such as severe weather, not fading demand.”

In February, construction spending, not adjusted for inflation, totalled $2.092 trillion at a seasonally adjusted annual rate. This figure is 0.3 per cent below the downwardly revised January rate, but 10.7 per cent above the February 2023 level.

Spending on private nonresidential construction decreased 0.9 per cent in February but rose 12.6 per cent from February 2023. The largest segments recorded similar patterns. Manufacturing construction slid 0.6 per cent for the month but jumped 31.8 per cent year-over-year. Commercial construction slumped 1.7 per cent in February but ticked up 0.9 per cent over 12 months. Investment in power, oil and gas projects declined 0.5 per cent for the month but rose 6.9 per cent year-over-year.

Public construction spending decreased 1.2 per cent for the month but rose 16.8 per cent from a year earlier. The largest public segment, highway and street construction, fell by 1.6 per cent in February but was up 18.5 per cent from February 2023. Public educational spending slumped 1.8 per cent from January but climbed 15.4 per cent year-over-year.

Private residential construction spending gained 0.7 per cent for the month and 6.3 per cent year-over-year. Single-family construction climbed 1.4 per cent from January, marking the 10th straight increase. Spending on multifamily projects dipped 0.2 per cent in February but remained 6.1 per cent higher than a year earlier.

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