May 2017 – Economic Indicators

Melanie Garza - Director of Strategy & Growth

Construction Spending Stalls

Construction spending in the U.S. stalled in March according to the U.S. Census Bureau.  New residential construction was the only segment that posted growth in March with a 1.2% growth rate over February.  On a positive note, first quarter spending in construction is 4.9% higher than the same period in 2016.

Nonresidential private construction fell -1.3% in April with many industry segments reporting lower investments.  Categories reporting growth include: lodging at 0.7%, healthcare at 1.4%, and manufacturing at 0.5%.  Office construction fell -2.6%, along with commercial dropping -3.2%, and education with a -7.8% decrease.

Construction spending with government spending also fell -0.9% in March.  Investment in education fell -2.0% while highway construction increased 0.5%.

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Q1 GDP Retreats

Economic growth in the first quarter of 2017 posted a significant decrease compared to the Q4 GDP rate.  The Bureau of Economic Analysis reported that the economy grew just 0.7% over Q4, making it the weakest pace since Q1 of 2014.  In Q4 of 2016, GDP grew 2.1%.   Economists predicted GDP would grow at 1.2% in Q1.

Lower consumer spending attributed to much of the poor performance which grew just 0.3%.   Consumer spending makes up about 2/3 of the GPD.  Government spending also fell 1.7%.

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Questions or comments? Please contact Melanie Garza at