The latest figures show construction spending was down, but not out, in the month of November. Total spending declined 0.6% against market expectations for a decline of 1.4%. October's decline was also revised to just -0.4% from a previously reported drop of -1.2%.
The residential market continues to be a lead anchor, with private residential spending down 4.2% -- the biggest decline since July's -6.2% reading. Private nonresidential spending, on the other hand, increased 0.7% after a 0.4% decline in October. Within the private nonresidential sector, spending on lodging was up 0.7%, spending on office property rose 0.9%, spending on transportation projects jumped 3.2% and spending on power facilities climbed 5.3%.
Looking at the longer trend (year over year rather than month over month), residential construction has gotten absolutely crushed. One area of huge growth has been manufacturing, which I have no explanation for. It looks like the media is confused as well. See if this commentary by Zacks makes any sense:
Construction in manufacturing also increased by 61.5% over the past year, as the manufacturing sector had been struggling during this economic recession, as evidenced by the ISM Manufacturing announcement on Friday, a 28 year low.