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Construction Spending

Construction Spending

What Is Construction Spending?

Construction spending is a economic indicator that measures the amount of spending toward new construction. The U.S. Department of Commerce Census Bureau releases the month to month Value of Construction Put in Place Survey (VIP), which takes a gander at residential and non-residential construction in the private sector, as well as state and federal construction spending.

Understanding Construction Spending

Construction spending figures will generally significantly affect the financial markets. In any case, the data can give knowledge regarding the economic growth of the U.S. as estimated by Gross Domestic Product (GDP). GDP is a metric that shows the output of an economy by tracking the production of all goods and services. At the point when GDP is rising, it regularly agrees with an increase in consumer and business spending. Likewise, when the economy is developing, construction spending will in general rise. In any case, when an economy is slowing or encountering negative growth — called a recession — construction spending will in general decline.

The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) utilizes construction spending data directly while delivering GDP statistics. Other government agencies and construction-related businesses utilize the data for economic estimates, market research, and financial navigation.

Housing Sector

Construction spending is a key economic indicator and residential construction, which incorporates the housing market, addresses almost half of total construction spending in the U.S.

For instance, the soundness of the housing market can be estimated, in part, by tracking new home construction, which will in general rise when consumers have a hopeful outlook on their positions and the encompassing economic conditions.

Housing starts are frequently tied to construction spending. Housing begins show the number of new construction projects that have started in a particular month. Housing start statistics are delivered close to the middle of every month by the U.S. Commerce Department.

Non-Residential Construction Spending

Commercial businesses additionally spend many billions of dollars each year on construction spending. Whether a company is building another factory or an inn chain, new lodgings, the capital expenditures, or business investment, adds to the total of construction spending.

Commercial construction affects the economy, including adding position for contractors, software and technology firms, and banking since banks frequently finance the activities through commercial lending facilities.

How Construction Spending Is Tracked

For north of 55 years, the U.S. Census Bureau has followed month to month construction spending through the Value of Construction Put in Place Survey (VIP). The report gives month to month gauges of the total dollar value of construction work done in the U.S., whether by the private or public sector, and the type of construction.

The Bureau has directed the survey it covers construction work done on new designs and those done as improvements to existing designs in both private and public sectors. The following data is remembered for the construction spending figures:

  • Cost of labor and materials
  • Cost of design and engineering work
  • Overhead costs, which are management, sales, and marketing costs or those expenses not tied directly to the production or construction of a venture
  • Interest on loans or debt used to finance construction spending and taxes paid during the task
  • Project worker's benefits

Data assortment and assessment activities start on the main day after the reference month and go on for around three weeks. Reported data and assessments are for activity occurring during the previous calendar month, and the survey has been directed month to month beginning around 1964.

Construction Spending by the Government

Despite the fact that construction spending is generally viewed as a private-sector venture, a lot of money can be allocated to the federal government's construction spending. As part of his overall economic plan, Biden plans to spend $2.4 trillion on infrastructure and energy to accomplish net-zero emissions by 2050. The plan likewise remembers critical investments for streets, spans, water, electricity, green spaces, and universal broadband.

The proposed investments in construction spending include:

  • The creation of smart streets, which use sensors and control gadgets to further develop safety
  • Investment in existing rail and trains to assist with cutting down on pollution and drive times
  • New construction rail lines in urban areas to make extra associated networks and further develop transport lines
  • Automobile infrastructure that upholds electric vehicle charging stations
  • Investments in updating 4,000,000 buildings and weatherizing 2,000,000 homes in the next four years
  • Direct cash rebates and low-cost financing to upgrade electricity for residential homes to reduce energy bills
  • New construction spending to make 1.5 million homes and housing units that are sustainable, meaning they utilize less energy and materials

Of course, any infrastructure spending programs should be approved and passed by the U.S. Congress. Whether Biden gets his plan passed with next to no changes or reductions by Congress is not yet clear.

Illustration of Construction Spending

As stated before, the two primary drivers of construction spending are residential and non-residential spending. The tables below contain a portion of the U.S. Census Bureau's report on construction spending in the U.S. for October 2020.


The recession in 2020, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, prompted the Federal Reserve acting to support the economy by decreasing interest rates. The Fed's activities pushed mortgage rates lower, assisting with helping the housing market as consumers hurried to buy homes to exploit cheap financing.

  • From the table below, we can see that more than $1.4 trillion was spent on construction spending in October of 2020.
  • Total residential construction spending was $646 billion.
  • Single-unit housing spending was $324 billion.
  • More than $90 billion was spent on multi-nuclear families.
  • Almost 45% of all construction spending came from the housing sector in October 2020.

We can see the impact that low interest rates had on home building in the year-to-year growth rate. New residential construction spending developed by 14.60% in October 2020 versus that very month in 2019.

Construction Spending in the U.S. for October 2020
 Oct. 2020Oct. 2019
Total Construction Spending1.438t3.70%
New Single Family$324b13.30%
New Multi-family$90b18.40%
All figures annualized. Table addresses a portion of the U.S. Census Bureau's construction spending report from October 2020. ### Non-Residential

Business spending on construction was $792 billion in October 2020 however addressed a drop of 3.70% from 2019. Albeit a couple of sectors saw increases in spending, the majority didn't, which demonstrates the impact of the recession.

The recreation, diversion, and travel industries got through the greatest hit from the pandemic.

  • Construction spending in lodging, which incorporates lodgings, was $26 billion — a 23% drop from that very month in 2019.
  • Entertainment and recreation spending was $26 billion addressing a 9.4% decline from one year sooner.
  • Office construction was down by 7.5% from 2019 with $80 billion dollars.
  • Even the manufacturing sector encountered a 12% drop in construction spending with $70 billion dollars in October 2020.
  • Be that as it may, public safety saw an increase in construction spending by almost 40% from 2019.
Construction Spending in the U.S. for October 2020
 Oct. 2020Oct. 2019
Total Construction Spending$1.4t3.70%
Public Safety$16b39.50%
Amusement & Recreation$26b-9.40%
All figures annualized. Table addresses a portion of the U.S. Census Bureau's construction spending report from October 2020.


  • Construction spending includes different construction-related expenses like labor, materials, and engineering work.
  • Construction spending is an economic indicator that measures month to month expenditures toward new construction.
  • The U.S. Census Bureau gives a month to month construction spending report; broken down by public and private construction and residential and non-residential.
  • Almost half of all construction spending in the U.S. comes from the housing sector.