Private residential construction spending was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of about $648.9 billion in December, up 8.5 percent from December 2004 and up 1 percent above the revised November estimate, the U.S. Census Bureau and Department of Commerce announced today.

Total residential construction spending in 2005 was about $626.1 billion, or 11.1 percent above the 2004 figure.

The value of all construction spending in 2005 was about $1.12 trillion, which is 8.9 percent above the amount spent in 2004, the agencies reported.

Total private construction spending in 2005 was about $872.7 billion, which is 9.3 percent above the 2004 level, and nonresidential construction spending in 2005 was about $246.6 billion, or 4.9 percent above the 2004 level.

And total construction spending during December 2005 was estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of about $1.16 trillion, which is 1 percent above the revised November estimate of about $1.15 trillion and 8.1 percent above the December 2004 estimate.

Spending on all private construction was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of about $904.3 billion, which is 1.1 percent above the revised November estimate. Nonresidential construction was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of about $255.4 billion in December, or 1.3 percent above the revised November estimate.

The seasonally adjusted annual rate is based on a monthly total that is projected over a 12-month period, adjusted for seasonal fluctuations in construction activity, the agencies reported.

In December, the estimated seasonally adjusted annual rate of public construction spending was about $256.3 billion, or 0.7 percent above the revised November estimate. Educational construction was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of about $68 billion, or 1.5 percent above the revised November estimate of $67 billion. Highway construction was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of about $68.9 billion, or 0.6 percent below the revised November estimate of $69.3 billion.

The value of public construction in 2005 was about $247 billion, or 7.7 percent above the 2004 level. Educational construction in 2005 was about $64.3 billion, or 7.9 percent above the 2004 level, and highway construction in 2005 was about $66.8 billion, or 11.1 percent higher than the 2004 level.

Month-to-month changes in seasonally adjusted statistics often show movements which may be irregular, the federal agencies reported, and it may take two months to establish an underlying trend for total construction and as long as eight months for specific categories of construction.

The statistics in the report are taken from surveys and are subject to sampling variability as well as 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 agencies also noted.

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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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