The rate of private residential construction spending fell for the eighth consecutive month in November and dropped 11.1 percent compared to the November 2005 level, the U.S. Census Bureau announced today.

The seasonally adjusted annual rate of private residential construction spending was $589.3 million in November, compared with $663.1 million in November 2005.

The rate — a projection of a monthly construction total over a 12-month period, adjusted for seasonal fluctuations in activity — had reached a record $665.6 million in December 2005 for private residential construction spending.

During the first 11 months of the year total construction spending — including residential and nonresidential construction — amounted to about $1.11 trillion, or 5.4 percent above spending for the same period last year.

Total construction spending in November was estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of about $1.18 trillion, which is 0.2 percent below the revised October estimate and 0.1 percent above the November 2005 estimate.

Spending on private construction was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of about $905.8 billion, which is 0.6 percent below the revised October estimate and 2.7 percent below the November 2005 rate. Nonresidential construction was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of about $316.5 billion in November, which is 1.4 percent above the revised October estimate.

In November, the estimated seasonally adjusted annual rate of public construction spending was $278.4 billion, which is 1 percent above the revised October estimate and 10.6 percent above the November 2005 rate.

Educational construction was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of about $72.6 billion, or 2.3 percent above the revised October estimate. Highway construction was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of about $77 billion, or 0.4 percent above the revised October estimate of $76.7 billion.

The Census Bureau noted that month-to-month changes in seasonally adjusted statistics often show movements that may be irregular. It may take two months, for example, to establish an underlying trend for total construction and up to eight months for specific categories of construction.

Statistics in construction-spending report are estimated from several sources and surveys and are subject to sampling variability as well as nonsampling error including bias and variance from response, nonreporting, and undercoverage, the Census Bureau noted. Statistics for the current month are preliminary estimates subject to revision in following months.

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