Construction spending during August 2005 was estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of about $1.11 trillion, which is 0.4 percent above the revised July estimate and 6.1 percent above the August 2004 estimate, the U.S. Census Bureau reported today.

During the first eight months of this year, construction spending amounted to about $723.7 billion, or 9 percent above the construction spending amount for the same period in 2004. The seasonally adjusted annual rate projects a monthly total over a 12-month period, factoring in seasonal fluctuations in construction spending.

Spending on private construction was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of about $858.4 billion, which is 0.4 percent above the revised July estimate. Private residential construction was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of about $614.6 billion in August, or 0.2 percent above the revised July estimate and 5.9 percent above the August 2004 rate. Nonresidential construction was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of about $243.8 billion in August, which is 0.8 percent above the revised July estimate of $241.8 billion.

In August, the estimated seasonally adjusted annual rate of public construction spending was about $250.2 billion, which is 0.5 percent above the revised July estimate of $248.9 billion. Educational construction was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of about $64.9 billion, which is 0.9 percent below the revised July estimate of $65.5 billion. Highway construction was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of about $66.9 billion, which is 1.4 percent above the revised July estimate of $66 billion.

The Census Bureau notes that month-to-month changes in seasonally adjusted statistics can show movements that may be irregular. It may take two months to establish an underlying trend for total construction and as long as eight months for specific categories of construction. Construction spending statistics are estimated from several sources and surveys and are subject to sampling variability and non-sampling error including bias and variance from response, non-reporting, and under-coverage.

Statistics for the current month are preliminary estimates subject to revision in following months as additional data become available, the Census Bureau also reported. The average absolute percent changes from preliminary estimate to first revision for the major seasonally adjusted components are as follows: total construction, 0.8 percent; private construction, 0.7 percent; and public construction, 1.4 percent.

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Send tips or a Letter to the Editor to glenn@inman.com or call (510) 658-9252, ext. 137.

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