May 1, 2022

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Construction spending (the green bars above) rose 0.1% in March after having climbed 0.5% in February and having jumped 3.0% in January.  Indeed, that is the 13th consecutive increase in this series.  In the past 12 months it has risen 11.7%.

Private construction spending (excluding the government sector) rose 0.2% in March after having risen 0..7% in February and having surged by 3.6% in January.  It continues to recover from the recession caused by the imposition of the nationwide quarantine in March/April 2020.  In the past year private construction has risen 14.6%.

Within the private construction spending category, residential spending rose 1.0% in March after having risen 0.7% in February and having surged by 4.8%  in January.  In the past 12 months residential construction spending has risen 18.4%.  It has been climbing because home sales have climbed.

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New home sales reached a peak of 993 thousand in January of 2021  Home sales have slid since then primarily because of a lack of adequate supply as builders are unable to find enough workers to hire and are dealing with lengthy delays in getting necessary materials.  For existing homes there is currently a 2.0 month supply of homes available to sell.  Supply and demand are relatively in balance when there is a 6.0 month supply.

Private nonresidential construction fell 1.2% in March after having risen 0.7% in February and 1.6% in January.  This is the first decline in this series since February 2021.  This series has been climbing steadily since as spending on factories, commercial buildings, and power plants have climbed rapidly.  In the past year nonresidential spending has risen 8.5%,

Public sector construction fell 0.2% in March after declining 0.1% in February and having risen 0.9% in January   In  the past year such spending has risen 1.7%.  It is being kept in check by declines in the construction of schools, public safety (police, fire, EMS), and transportation (like airports and rail stations).

.Stephen Slifer

NumberNomics

Charleston, SC