Led by strength in single-family homes, construction spending rose 0.7 percent in July while an upward revision to single-family homes added to a sharp upward revision to June, up 6 tenths and also at plus 0.7 percent. Year-on-year, total construction spending was up 13.7 percent in July.
Private residential construction rose 1.3 percent in July with construction spending on single-family homes up 2.1 percent vs a 0.5 percent gain in June that was initially reported at a 0.3 percent contraction. Spending on the more volatile multi-family category, which is much smaller in scale, fell 2.2 percent after spiking 5.5 percent in June. Year-on-year, both categories show robust gains, at 15.8 percent for single-family homes and 21.2 percent for multi-family.
Turning to private nonresidential construction, spending rose 1.5 percent in the month. In gains that belie concerns over weakness in business investment, manufacturing was very strong at plus 4.7 with power and transportation both at plus 2.1 percent in the month. But spending on public construction was negative, at minus 3.0 percent for educational buildings and minus 0.2 percent for highways & streets.
Housing and construction, which are domestic sectors insulated for global volatility, are posting some of the best numbers of any sectors in the economy right now and look to give 2015 substantial support.