US construction output rises again

By Chris Sleight02 August 2012

Construction output in the US rose +0.4% in June to US$ 842 billion on a rolling 12-month basis. This took the sector +7.0% higher than the US$ 787 billion in construction output seen in the year to the end of June 2011.

The increase was driven by a rise in private construction, which grew +0.7% mont-on-month and +13.1% year-on-year. In contrast, publicly funded work was flat with May 2012 and down -3.7% compared to the position a year ago.

Within the private sector, the most pronounced increase from May was in the residential sector, where output was up +1.3% in the month to US$ 265 billion for the year to the end of June. This saw spending on house building rise +12.1% compared to June 2011, when the figure stood at US$ 236 billion for the year.

The private non-residential sector only grew +0.1% month-on-month, but at US$ 302 billion, it was +14.0% higher than the position a year ago. The most pronounced rises have been in the lodging, educational, power and manufacturing construction segments.

Public construction meanwhile was down -3.7% compared to the 12 months to the end of June 2012, at US$ 274 billion. Almost every sub-sector of the industry has seen a decline, with the most striking falls in the residential, office, commercial, power and conservation sectors.

Commenting on the figures, Ken Simonson, chief economist for the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) said, "The June spending gains come on top of upward revisions to May and April totals, reinforcing the notion that private construction is now growing consistently. Even more encouraging, the improvement is showing up in a wide range of residential and non-residential categories."

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