US construction spending rose 0.9% in December from November, 7.8% from a year ago to seasonally adjusted annual rate of US$885B; value of construction was US$850.2B in 2012, up 9.2% from 2011

WASHINGTON , February 1, 2013 (press release) – The U.S. Census Bureau of the Department of Commerce announced today that construction spending during December 2012 was estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $885.0 billion, 0.9 percent (±1.6%)* above the revised November estimate of $876.9 billion. The December figure is 7.8 percent (±1.8%) above the December 2011 estimate of $820.6 billion.
The value of construction in 2012 was $850.2 billion, 9.2 percent (±1.3%) above the $778.2 billion spent in 2011.

PRIVATE CONSTRUCTION

Spending on private construction was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $614.9 billion, 2.0 percent (±1.3%) above the revised November estimate of $602.9 billion. Residential construction was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $308.2 billion in December, 2.2 percent (±1.3%) above the revised November estimate of $301.7 billion. Nonresidential construction was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $306.7 billion in December, 1.8 percent (±1.3%) above the revised November estimate of $301.2 billion.

The value of private construction in 2012 was $574.6 billion, 16.1 percent (±1.8%) above the $495.0 billion spent in 2011. Residential construction in 2012 was $276.8 billion, 16.8 percent (±2.1%) above the 2011 figure of $237.0 billion and nonresidential construction was $297.7 billion, 15.4 percent (±1.8%) above the $258.0 billion in 2011.

PUBLIC CONSTRUCTION

In December, the estimated seasonally adjusted annual rate of public construction spending was $270.1 billion, 1.4 percent (±2.5%)* below the revised November estimate of $274.1 billion. Educational construction was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $65.5 billion, 0.7 percent (±4.9%)* below the revised November estimate of $66.0 billion. Highway construction was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $78.5 billion, 0.7 percent (±5.6%)* above the revised November estimate of $78.0 billion.

The value of public construction in 2012 was $275.6 billion, 2.7 percent (±1.6%) below the $283.3 billion spent in 2011. Educational construction in 2012 was $67.7 billion, 3.5 percent (±3.6%)* below the 2011 figure of $70.1 billion and highway construction was $79.3 billion, 0.6 percent (±3.8%)* above the $78.9 billion in 2011.

January 2013 data will be released on March 1, 2013 at 10:00 A.M. EST.

For more detailed data and methodologies, go to our website:
http://www.census.gov/constructionspending
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EXPLANATORY NOTES

In interpreting changes in the statistics in this release, note that month-to-month changes in seasonally adjusted statistics often show movements which may be irregular. It may take 2 months to establish an underlying trend for total construction and as long as 8 months for specific categories of construction. The statistics in this release are estimated from several sources and surveys and are subject to sampling variability as well as nonsampling error including bias and variance from response, nonreporting, and undercoverage. Estimates of the standard errors are provided in Table 3. Whenever a statement such as "2.3 (±3.1) percent above" appears in the text, this indicates the range (-0.8 to +5.4 percent) in which the actual percent change is likely to have occurred. All ranges given are 90 percent confidence intervals and account only for sampling variability. If a range does not contain zero, the change is statistically significant. If it does contain zero, the change is not statistically significant; that is, it is uncertain whether there was an increase or decrease. Statistics for the current month are preliminary estimates subject to revision in following months as additional data become available. The average absolute percent changes from preliminary estimate to first revision for the major seasonally adjusted components are as follows: total construction, 1.3 percent; private construction, 1.7 percent; and public construction, 0.8 percent.
* 90% confidence interval includes zero. The U.S. Census Bureau does not have sufficient statistical evidence to conclude that the actual change is different from zero.

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