Nonresidential construction spending fell 2% in January, which is the largest setback to spending since January 2014, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
However, at $614.1 billion on a seasonally adjusted, annualized basis, nonresidential construction spending still is 4.8% higher than one year ago. The spending estimate for December 2014 was revised downward from $627.1 billion to $627 billion, while November’s figure was revised from $624.8 billion to $621.9 billion.
“Interpreting January construction statistics is always tricky because the seasonal adjustments can never precisely reflect the impact of any given winter or weather system,” Associated Builders and Contractors Chief Economist Anirban Basu said. “New England, among other places, was hit heavily by snow in January and this could explain the monthly decline in nonresidential construction spending.
“Additionally, nonresidential construction spending enjoyed positive momentum through the end of 2014 and, until January, had registered spending growth in five of the previous six months,” Basu said. “It is also possible that the West Coast port slowdown impacted construction volumes, including by reducing material availability.”
Three of 16 nonresidential construction subsectors posted increases in spending in January on a monthly basis.Communication construction spending gained 0.7% for the month, but is down 1.5$ for the year.Highway- and street-related construction spending grew 0.2% in January and is up 8.7% compared to the same time last year. Manufacturing-related spending expanded by 4% in January and is up 22.5% for the year.
At the same time, spending in 13 nonresidential construction subsectors declined in the first month of 2015.Health care-related construction spending dropped by 2.3% for the month and is down 2.5% for the year.Education-related construction spending fell 3.6% for the month and 0.4 percent on a year-over-year basis.
Moreover, Bureau reported that the construction spending in the transportation category fell 1.7% on a monthly basis, but has expanded 8.9% on an annual basis.Commercial construction spending decreased 5.7% in January, but is up 14% on a year-over-year basis.