Construction Spending Bumps Up In June, But Barely

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Robison Wells
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The Commerce Department released a report on August 2nd indicating that construction spending inched up a slight 0.1% in June; this was a tradeoff as private projects increased and public sector construction projects dropped.

Spending had fallen 0.2% in May but was up 8.2% in year-on-year growth since this time last year (while the construction industry was mainly under lockdown).

However, despite the small growth, it was less than economists had expected. According to a poll of economists run by Reuters, the expected construction growth in June would have been 0.4%.

Spending on private projects rose by 0.4%, with residential growing 1.1% despite much news of the slowing of the residential market, and spending on single-family residential spending increase 1.8%. Lower broker commissions weighed down the slowdown because of a decline in home sales. Demand remains high, but the increase in material costs and a close inventory gap are driving up home prices which, in turn, are hurting sales.

Non-residential private projects, such as gas and oil well drilling, dropped 0.7% in June. There were also declines in commercial and healthcare structures.

Meanwhile, spending on public construction projects dropped 1.2%, an even more significant drop in May than the 0.8% fall.

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