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Construction spending rose slightly in March


Construction spending edged up slightly in March, supported by nonresidential private construction, while new single-family home construction remained in decline.

Key findings

  • Construction spending rose 0.3% in March after falling in February.
  • Spending on new single-family construction fell 0.8% in March.
  • Spending on multifamily construction rose 0.4% in March.

Overall, construction spending rose 0.3 percent in March after falling by the same amount in February, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Concerns about housing costs persist, but multifamily costs are rising

Spending on private and public housing construction decreased by 0.2%, down from 9.8% year-on-year.

Private residential construction rose slightly by 0.3% in March after falling 0.6% in February, while non-residential private construction rose 1.0%.

Amid concerns about high mortgage rates, supply costs and uncertainty about inflation, new single-family construction remained subdued in March. New single-family construction fell 0.8% in March and is down 22.9% year over year.

New multifamily construction saw a slight increase amid the nation’s uncertain housing market, rising 0.4% in March, up 23% year-over-year, further cementing demand for rental housing.

Private accommodation, education costs are skyrocketing

Among private construction projects, non-residential spending rose 1.0% overall and rose 21.3% year over year. Residential construction and office construction both reported a 0.3 percent increase in spending, while health care spending rose 0.6 percent and education construction spending jumped 1.5 percent.

Commercial construction also fell 0.8% in March, but rose 20.1% year over year.

Public construction grew moderately

Total public construction spending rose 0.2% in March, up 15% from March 2022. Office construction spending fell 1.4% in March, while healthcare construction spending declined by 2.3%.

Joanna Swanson

Joanna Swanson is Europe correspondent at the Thomson Reuters Foundation based in Brussels covering politics, culture, business, climate change, society, economies and inclusive tech. With specific focus in breaking news, she has covered some of the world's most significant stories.