August 2016 Construction Spending at $1,142.2 Billion Annual Rate

November 2016

The U.S. Census Bureau announced Oct. 3, 2017, that construction spending during August 2016 was estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1,142.2 billion, 0.7 percent below the revised July estimate of $1,150.6 billion. The August figure is 0.3 percent below the August 2015 estimate of $1,145.2 billion.
    
During the first 8 months of this year, construction spending amounted to $755.0 billion, 4.9 percent above the $720.0 billion for the same period in 2015. Officials of the Associated General Contractors of America said “the new spending figures indicate that the industry’s recovery may be at risk and said new investments in the nation’s aging water systems and other infrastructure could help offset declining spending in certain types of private construction.”
    
According to the Census Bureau, spending on private construction was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $871.6 billion, 0.3 percent below the revised July estimate of $874.6 billion. Residential construction was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $449.2 billion in August, 0.3 percent below the revised July estimate of $450.4 billion. Nonresidential construction was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $422.4 billion in August, 0.4 percent below the revised July estimate of $424.2 billion.
    
In August, the estimated seasonally adjusted annual rate of public construction spending was $270.5 billion, 2.0 percent below the revised July estimate of $276.0 billion. Educational construction was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $66.9 billion, 0.4 percent below the revised July estimate of $67.2 billion.
    
“The construction industry’s recovery appears to have hit a plateau,” said Stephen E. Sandherr, AGC’s chief executive officer. “The sector is at the point where new public-sector investments could really help take up the slack being left by declines in some types of private-sector construction activity.”