Spending on private residential construction was up slightly in May over the previous month, the U.S. Census Bureau reported today. Residential construction spending was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $532.3 billion in May, or 0.8 percent above the revised April estimate of $528.2 billion. Private nonresidential construction spending, meanwhile, dropped about 0.4 percent from April to May, from $219.7 billion to $218.9 billion. These numbers carry an error margin of plus or minus 2.1 percent.

The month-to-month statistics can show irregular movements, and it can take several months to identify trends for specific areas of construction, the Census Bureau reported. In January, the seasonally adjusted annual rate of private nonresidential construction spending was at $513.9 billion.

Overall construction put in place spending in May 2004, which includes public and private construction, was estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $988.5 billion, which is 0.3 percent above the revised April estimate of $985.7 billion, and 9.7 percent above the May 2003 estimate of $901 billion.

The annual value of private residential construction put in place in 2003 was $476.1 billion, and in 2002 it was $421.9 billion.

The seasonally adjusted annual rate of public residential construction spending was $7.6 billion in May 24, up 5 percent from April and up 12.3 percent from May 2003 numbers, the Census Bureau also reported.

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