Home construction up; commercial and government spending down

By - Last modified: October 10, 2012 at 9:27 AM

Summer is ending on a high note for U.S. homebuilders.

Residential construction was up 0.9 percent in August compared with July and nearly 18 percent above August 2011, the U.S. Department of Commerce reported last week.

Home construction came in at $273.5 billion for the month. Multifamily housing was up 3.7 percent in August and nearly 45 percent compared with the same year-ago month.

On the flip side, nonresidential construction was down nearly 2 percent at $288.7 billion, the Commerce Department said. However, that was still up more than 7 percent from a year ago.

Nearly every sector took a hit, with the exception of transportation and amusement and recreation construction, the report said. Over the year, lodging was up 33.7 percent.

By comparison, government construction dipped 0.8 percent in August and 3.5 percent for the year. Public residential work improved by 1.2 percent for the month but was down almost 28 percent from August 2011.

Overall construction spending in August fell off 0.6 percent, totaling $837.1 billion. In August 2011, the total spend was $786.3 billion — an improvement of 6.5 percent in 2012.