2017 Economic Calendar
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Construction Spending  
Released On 5/1/2017 10:00:00 AM For Mar, 2017
PriorPrior RevisedConsensusConsensus RangeActual
Construction Spending - M/M change0.8 %1.8 %0.5 %0.3 % to 1.0 %-0.2 %
Construction Spending - Y/Y change3.0 %5.4 %3.6 %

Highlights
Data on construction spending are subject to unusual volatility, evident in today's report which came in far below expectations, at minus 0.2 percent vs Econoday's consensus for a 0.5 percent gain. These results for March, however, are offset by a 1.0 percentage point upward revision to February which now stands at a very strong 1.8 percent.

March's weakness is tied to a sharp 1.3 percent decline in the private nonresidential component, where spending was especially weak for commercial units as well as office units. Public spending was also weak with educational building down for a 2nd straight month. The positives in the report are in housing with multi-family units extending their strong run with a 2.0 percent monthly gain, supported by a gain for single-family units and another strong month for home improvements.

It's hard to get a gauge on this report because of its revisions and volatility, and the general weakness in nonresidential construction contrasts with the enormous strength of investment in nonresidential structures in Friday's first-quarter GDP report. The housing side is more clear with gains backed up by strength in underlying permits and strong demand for new housing. Next up on the construction sector will be Friday's employment report and construction payrolls which have been mostly solid so far this year.

Recent History Of This Indicator
Construction spending has been flat and held back by public building where government spending has been in nearly double-digit contraction. In contrast, residential spending has been solid and led by double-digit gains for multi-family units where accelerating construction reflects the high cost of homes and resulting demand for rentals. A negative for March construction spending, however, was the month's weather-related decline for both single-family and multi-family starts. Still, Econoday's April consensus is calling for a solid 0.5 percent gain.

Definition
The dollar value of new construction activity on residential, non-residential, and public projects. Data are available in nominal and real (inflation-adjusted) dollars.  Why Investors Care
 
[Chart]
Over the last year, a decline in residential outlays has pulled down year-on-year growth for overall construction outlays. Nonresidential and public outlays are positive with nonresidential actually strong.
Data Source: Haver Analytics
 
 

2017 Release Schedule
Released On: 1/32/13/14/35/16/17/38/19/110/211/112/1
Release For: NovDecJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOct
 


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