The estimated total value of construction spending in 2006 was $1.2 trillion, which is about 4.8 percent higher than construction spending in 2005, the U.S. Census Bureau announced today.

Private residential construction spending in 2006 was $630.3 billion, which is 1.9 percent below the 2005 level. Private nonresidential construction spending was $298.4 billion in 2006, up 16.2 percent compared to 2005.

In December 2006, construction spending was estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1.18 trillion, which is about 0.4 percent below the revised November estimate and about 1.4 percent below the December 2005 estimate.

The seasonally adjusted annual rate is a projection of a monthly total over a 12-month period, adjusted for seasonal fluctuations in construction activity.

Spending on private construction in December was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of about $896.8 billion, or 0.8 percent below the revised November estimate and 4.6 percent below the December 2005 level.

The adjusted annual rate of private residential construction spending was about $582.3 billion in December, down 1.6 percent from the November estimate and 12.5 percent below the December 2005 rate.

Nonresidential construction was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of about $314.5 billion in December, which is 0.9 percent above the revised November estimate of $311.8 billion and 14.5 percent higher than the December 2005 level.

The value of private construction in 2006 was $928.7 billion, or about 3.3 percent above the $899 billion spent in 2005, the Census Bureau reported.

The estimated seasonally adjusted annual rate of public construction spending in December 2006 was about $280.9 billion, up 0.6 percent from the revised November estimate. Educational construction was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of about $75.6 billion, 1.8 percent above the revised November estimate of $74.3 billion. Highway construction was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of about $74.2 billion, down 1.1 percent compared to the revised November estimate.

The value of public construction in 2006 was $269.3 billion, which is up 10.1 percent compared to spending in 2005. Educational construction in 2006 was $70.1 billion, up 6.4 percent above the 2005 figure, and highway construction was $75.1 billion, up 14.8 percent compared to 2005 spending.

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

Statistics 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.

Statistics for the latest month are preliminary estimates subject to revision in following months as additional data become available, according to the report.

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