Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Construction Spending: February 2009

Today, the U.S. Census Bureau released their February read of construction spending again demonstrating the significant extent to which private residential construction is contracting particularly for single family structures which appears to have worsened significantly in recent months while non-residential spending continues to show firm signs of significant contraction.

With the tremendous weakening trend continuing, total residential construction spending fell 29.82% as compared to February 2008 and 59.32% from the peak set in March 2006.

Worse off though was private single family residential construction spending which declined 47.83% as compared to February 2008 and a truly grotesque 75.85% from the peak set in February 2006.

Non-residential construction spending, currently accounting for just under half of all private construction spending, has now posted its second consecutive decline on a year-over-year basis clearly indicating that the trend is now down for commercial real estate.

The following charts (click for larger versions) show private residential construction spending, private residential single family construction spending and private non-residential construction spending broken out and plotted since 1993 along with the year-over-year and peak percent change to each since 1994 and 2000 – 2005.