Monday, May 04, 2009

Construction Spending: March 2009

Today, the U.S. Census Bureau released their March 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 34.02% as compared to March 2008 and a whopping 61.80% from the peak set in March 2006.

Worse off though was private single family residential construction spending which declined 51.58% as compared to March 2008 and a truly grotesque 77.86% from the peak set in February 2006.

Non-residential construction spending, currently accounting for just under half of all private construction spending, posted a year-over-year increase of 1.16% but likely remains in a contraction trend as vacancy rates continue to soar and prices decline.

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.