February 2017 Economic Indicators

Melanie Garza - Director of Strategy & Growth


Construction Spending Hit High in 2016

Construction spending in the US rose to its highest level since 2006 in 2016.  The Census Bureau published its 2016 year end totals indicating that 2016 spending was up 4.5% over 2015.  Spending in November hit a 10-year high and dipped slightly -0.2% in December.

Total private construction spending in 2016 was 6.4% higher than 2015.  Residential construction in 2016 climbed 5.2% and nonresidential construction was up 7.8% over 2015.

Private construction in several areas saw significant growth from 2015 to 2016 including: lodging at 20.8%; office at 35.3%; commercial at 12.3%; healthcare at 8.5% and educational at 18.9%.  Construction spending in the manufacturing industry fell -5.9% in 2016.

Total public construction spending in 2016 fell -1% from the 2015 total.  December spending fell 1.7% from November.  Educational spending fell -2.2% in December, but was up 4.7% over 2015.   Highway construction fell -0.6% and finished 2016 with a 2% increase over spending in 2015.

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First Estimate of Q4 GDP: 1.9%

The Department of Commerce is reporting the US economy grew just 1.6% in 2016, compared to the 2015 annual level of 2.6%.

In its first preliminary finding for the fourth quarter of 2016 and year end measure, the Commerce Department indicated that GDP grew 1.9%, compared to a more prosperous increase of 3.9% during the third quarter.

Preliminary findings indicate that consumption for fixed investment dropped .07% in 2016 compared to two years of growth of 5.5% in 2014 and 4% in 2015.  Spending on structures continued to fall in 2016 at -3.1% in 2016 and -4.4% in 2015.  Equipment purchases also declined -2.8% in 2016 after two years of growth at 3.5% in 2015 and 5.4% in 2014.

Two areas reporting growth in 2016 included intellectual property at 5% in 2016 and residential housing up 4.9% in 2016.  Residential housing also grew 3.5% in 2014 and 11.7% in 2015.

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Questions or comments? Please contact Melanie Garza at mgarza@teamCOACT.com