The 2020 Mid-Year Economic Update_long

1Q Construction Spending Up; Housing Starts Cool in April

Overall Construction Spending
During the first three months of this year, construction spending was $253.5 billion, 9.2 percent above the $232.1 billion for the same period in 2005. Construction spending during March 2006 was estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1,199.1 billion, 0.9 percent above the revised February estimate of $1,188.7 billion. The March figure is 8.4 percent above the March 2005 estimate of $1,106.4 billion.


Private Spending
Spending on private construction was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $940.8 billion, 1.1 percent above the revised February estimate of $930.9 billion. Residential construction was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $672.9 billion in March, 1.6 percent above the revised February estimate of $662.6 billion. Nonresidential construction was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $267.9 billion in March, 0.1 percent below the revised February estimate of $268.3 billion.


New Residential Sales
Sales of new one-family houses in April 2006 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,198,000. This is 4.9 percent above the revised March rate of 1,142,000, but is 5.7 percent below the revised April 2005 estimate of 1,270,000. The median sales price of new houses sold in April 2006 was $238,500; the average sales price was $298,300. The seasonally adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of April was 565,000. This represents a supply of 5.8 months at the current sales rate.


Public Spending
In March, the estimated seasonally adjusted annual rate of public construction spending was $258.2 billion, 0.2 percent above the revised February estimate of $257.8 billion. Educational construction was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $68.6 billion, 0.8 percent below the revised February estimate of $69.2 billion. Highway construction was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $69.4 billion, 0.4 percent below the revised February estimate of $69.7 billion.


Housing Starts
Privately-owned housing starts in April were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,84 million. This is 7.4 percent below the revised March estimate of 1.99 million and is 11.1 percent below the April 2005 rate of 2.07 million. Single-family housing starts in April were at a rate of 1.53 million; this is 5.6 percent below the March figure of 1.62 million. The April rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 262,000.


Housing Completions
Privately-owned housing completions in April were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 2.0 million. This is 6.6 percent below the revised March estimate of 2.22 million, but is 8.0 percent above the April 2005 rate of 1.92 million. Single-family housing completions in April were at a rate of 1.77 million; this is 6.0 percent below the March figure of 1.89 million. The April rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 267,000.


Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Department of Commerce and the Department of Housing and Urban Development

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