Construction spending shows modest increase in May

According to the latest data released by the U.S. Census Bureau, construction spending in May 2023 exhibited a slight uptick, indicating positive momentum in the industry. The seasonally adjusted annual rate of construction spending was estimated at $1,925.6 billion, representing a 0.9% increase compared to the revised April estimate of $1,909.0 billion.

Compared to May 2022, construction spending saw a more substantial growth of 2.4%, reaching $1,925.6 billion. These figures suggest a continued upward trend in the construction sector, fueling optimism for a robust economic recovery.

Private construction, a significant driver of the industry, saw an increase of 1.1% in spending, reaching a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1,513.2 billion. Within private construction, residential projects displayed notable strength, surging by 2.2% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $857.4 billion. However, nonresidential construction experienced a slight decline of 0.3%, amounting to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $655.8 billion.

Public construction spending also showed some positive signs, with a marginal 0.1 percent increase from the revised April estimate. The estimated seasonally adjusted annual rate for public construction reached $412.4 billion. Notably, educational construction remained relatively stable, with spending at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $87.7 billion, virtually unchanged from the previous month.

On the other hand, highway construction experienced a minor setback, decreasing by 0.4% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $124.6 billion. Despite this dip, overall public construction spending remained steady, indicating ongoing investment in infrastructure projects.

Looking at the broader picture, construction spending during the first five months of 2023 amounted to $740.8 billion, indicating a 2.9% increase compared to the same period in 2022.