The U.S. Census Bureau of the Department of Commerce announced today that construction spending during September 2005 was estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of about $1.12 trillion, or 0.5 percent above the revised August estimate. The September figure is about 6.8 percent above the September 2004 estimate.

The seasonally adjusted annual rate is based on a monthly total that is projected over a 12-month period, adjusted for seasonal fluctuations.

During the first nine months of this year, construction spending amounted to about $827.6 billion, or 8.8 percent above the $760.9 billion for the same period in 2004.

Spending on private construction was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of about $871.5 billion, or 0.6 percent above the revised August estimate of $866.1 billion. Residential construction was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of about $624.3 billion in September, 1 percent above the revised August estimate of $618.2 billion. Nonresidential construction was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of about $247.2 billion in September, 0.3 percent below the revised August estimate of $248 billion.

In September, the estimated seasonally adjusted annual rate of public construction spending was about $248.5 billion, nearly the same as the revised August estimate. Educational construction was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of about $64.9 billion, or 1.3 percent above the revised August estimate of $64.1 billion. Highway construction was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of about $67.1 billion, which is 0.9 percent below the revised August estimate of $67.6 billion.

The Census Bureau notes that month-to-month changes in seasonally adjusted statistics often show movements that may be irregular. It can take two months to establish an underlying trend for total construction and as long as eight months for specific categories of construction, according to the release.

The 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 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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