Construction spending inches up 0.1% as homebuilding offsets weak nonresidential performance

construction_dive_logoDive Brief:

  • Construction spending inched up 0.1% in December to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1.116 trillion, the Commerce Department reported Monday.
  • December’s results were 8.2% higher than December 2014, and spending for all of 2015 was 10.5% higher than spending in 2014.
  • Nonresidential construction spending dipped 2.1%, while residential spending grew 0.9%. Within residential, single-family home construction rose 1.0%, and multifamily increased 2.7%.

Dive Insight:
December’s results failed to meet expectations, as economists surveyed by MarketWatch had predicted spending would rise 0.6%. On the positive side, 2015’s total construction spending reached its highest level in eight years, according to the Associated Press.

The strength in the residential sector buoys growing optimism in the housing market, as the majority of residential reports released last month signaled improving conditions in the market.