by Mish

Spring 2017 was not the greatest for the nation’s housing sector where data have been mixed at best. Permits have been down and spending data are flat to down with construction spending unchanged in May which hits the very lowest estimate in Econoday’s consensus range.
And the weakness is in residential spending, down 0.6 percent overall and including declines for single-family homes, residential improvements, and especially in May for multi-family units.
Private nonresidential spending fell 0.7 percent, with declines in transportation, manufacturing, and commercial. An offset is public nonresidential, up sharply after 2 prior months of declines with the gain centered in education, up 5.1 percent, as roads fell 0.9 percent for a second straight dip.
Public spending in May aside, the slowing in construction spending is not a positive signal for the housing sector nor for second-quarter GDP. The housing sector moved higher at the beginning of the year but has stumbled since.


  • Total Private: -0.6%
  • Residential: -0.6%
  • Single-Family: -0.3%
  • Multi-Family: -3.3%
  • Nonresidential: -0.7%
  • Commercial: -1.0%



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Revisions go all the way bak to May of 2016. Previous revisions have gone back decades.

It was construction spending revisions that caused the GDPNow model to blast into the stratosphere with an initial estimate of 4.3% for first quarter.

Those revisions are all baked into first-quarter GDP estimates, for which we have seen the final numbers.

March construction spending was $1,239,654. April and May are down a net 0.76%. Construction spending is a heavy favorite to subtract from second quarter GDP.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock

Construction Spending Unexpectedly Declines One Percent

Construction spending took an unexpected dive of 1% today vs. an Econoday expectation of +0.5%.

Construction Spending Shows Serious Signs of Rolling Over

Construction spending rose 0.3% in September vs an Econoday consensus of 0.0%. However, the Census Bureau revised August from a 0.5% gain to a 0.1% gain. Effectively, the September boost was about 0.1% from August as initially reported. Close inspection shows serious signs of weakness.

Construction Spending Disaster: Expectations Missed, Negative Revisions for 2018

Economists expected construction spending in May to rise 0.6%. Spending rose 0.4%. April was revised 0.9% lower.

Construction Spending Flat, Private Construction Negative

Economists expected construction spending to rise. Instead, spending was flat, and only because of government spending.

Construction Spending Jumps (From Huge Revisions)

The construction spending report from the Census Bureau is the biggest crapshoot in the entire lost of government reports.

Construction Spending Rises 0.8% vs. 1.0% Expectation: Nonresidential Rolling Over?

Construction spending, up 0.8% in February, was a bit weaker than the Bloomberg Econoday Consensus estimate of 1.0%.

Construction Spending Falls Sharply, March Revised Higher: Construction Spending Mysteries

The construction spending reports by the Census Department remain a complete joke. Once again, heavy revisions are in play.

Construction Spending Unexpectedly Weak: Home Repairs Collapse

Economists expected a jump of 0.5% in construction spending. Instead, spending came in at 0.1%.

Construction Spending Accelerates

Construction spending rose more than expected in November. Revisions add to the gains.