Construction Spending Dips Again in February

The U.S. Census Bureau reported construction spending dipped again during February to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $2,091.5 billion, 0.3% below January’s $2,096.9 billion figure.

Census said the February figure is 10.7% above the year ago estimate of $1,889.6 billion.

Construction spending totaled $298.1 billion in January and February, 11.9% above the $266.5 billion for the same period in 2023.

Wells Fargo Economics noted the single-family sector is driving construction spending. “Residential spending rose 0.7%, the third straight monthly gain, the firm said in its monthly analysis. “Although mortgage rates have risen sharply over the past several years, the new home market has held up fairly well thanks to home builder pricing incentives and a relative abundance of inventory.”

Multifamily development has fallen, Wells Fargo Economics said, as apartment vacancies increase and rent growth weakens. “Multifamily construction spending declined 0.2% in February, the sixth straight month of falling or flat monthly growth in outlays,” the report said.