by Mish

However, the Census Department revised January from -1.0% to -0.4% so the report was a bit stronger than it appears on the surface.

Construction strength is not uniform.

Total Construction Spending Percent Change From Year Ago

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Year-over-year residential construction spending is up 6.16% but nonresidential construction is up only 0.95%.

Construction Spending by Type

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Multi-family residential is doing much better than single-family. The latter is more important as it hints at family formation.

Commercial Spending

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Commercial spending is a strong indicator of future hiring.

As long as Walmart, Target, McDonalds, etc. keep building stores, the economy is likely to keep adding jobs. Nonetheless, spending is still below pre-recession levels.

Also, growth in online spending is crushing store spending and minimum wage hikes have taken a bite out of profits as well.

How much longer the commercial buildout can keep rolling on remains a key question.

Finally, these construction spending reports are very volatile and subject to huge revisions. So take all these numbers with a huge dose of skepticism.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock

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Construction Spending Unexpectedly Declines One Percent

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

Construction Spending Accelerates

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The Oct construction spending report was much weaker than expected. That's on top of huge negative revisions for Sept.

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.

Investigating Weather-Related Effects on Construction Spending

Reported construction spending for March (yes we are still looking at first quarter data), was -0.2%.