The Home Buyer's Korner

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April 18th, 2015

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Construction Spending for February 2015

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Construction spending in February dropped for single-family home building. Seasonally adjusted construction spending fell 0.1 percent in February after a revised 1.7 percent drop in January.

The result can be contributed to harsh winter weather that constrained construction in many parts of the country during the month.

The report is part of a series of discouraging economic reports we have been getting in housing, manufacturing, and jobs. Sluggish construction spending is likely to pull down overall economic growth for the first quarter of 2015.

Private spending on construction of single-family homes declined 1.4 percent — the biggest drop since 2010.

Total private construction spending, which rose 0.2 percent, was offset by a 0.8 percent retreat in public construction spending. State and local governments cut spending by 1.6 percent, which accounts for more than 90 percent of government spending. The federal government increased construction spending by 9 percent. With the state of our road a bridge the federal government could do much more to help stimulate the economy, but with a dysfunctional congress it’s unlikely.

Overall construction spending was up 2.1 percent year over year from February 2014, but most of which was on residential housing was directed to multi-family rentals.

The Institute for Supply Management, a trade group of purchasing managers, said factories in the United States expanded last month at a weaker pace as orders grew more slowly and hiring was essentially flat. The group reported that its manufacturing index slipped to 51.5 in March from 52.9 in February. It was the fifth straight drop. Still, any reading above 50 signals expansion. Much of this can be contributed to a strong dollar which has increased by 20 -/+ against many other currencies and making it cheaper to purchase overseas, rather than looking to American workers to produce goods Main Street needs.

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