Construction Spending Falls in January

March 4, 2013

After a nine-month string of gains, construction spending totaled $883 billion in January, exhibiting a 2.1 percent decrease from December, according to analysis of Census Bureau data by the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC). This total was 7.1 percent higher than in January 2012.

Private residential construction spending was flat for the month and up 22 percent year-over-year. Private nonresidential spending slumped 5.1 percent for the month but climbed 4 percent year-over-year. Public construction spending dropped 1 percent for the month and 3 percent over 12 months.

“At first glance, January was a bad month for construction, with a sharp drop in private nonresidential spending, along with small dips in residential and public construction,” said Ken Simonson, AGC’s chief economist. “However, the January figure was higher than the year-ago level. Moreover, steep upward revisions today in the preliminary numbers for November and December suggest January may ultimately prove to have been positive, as well.”