The rate of U.S. home construction spending nationwide fell year-over-year and month-to-month in December, according to a report released today by the U.S. Census Bureau of the Department of Commerce.

Spending for December dropped to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $268.7 billion, a 2.7 percent drop from $276.2 billion the month before, and a 10.3 percent drop from $299.4 billion in December 2008. This rate is a projection of a monthly spending total over a 12-month period, adjusted to reflect typical seasonal fluctuations in construction activity.

The rate of U.S. home construction spending nationwide fell year-over-year and month-to-month in December, according to a report released today by the U.S. Census Bureau of the Department of Commerce.

Spending for December dropped to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $268.7 billion, a 2.7 percent drop from $276.2 billion the month before, and a 10.3 percent drop from $299.4 billion in December 2008. This rate is a projection of a monthly spending total over a 12-month period, adjusted to reflect typical seasonal fluctuations in construction activity.

Residential construction spending made up 30 percent of the nation’s total construction spending for the month.

At $8.3 billion, public residential construction spending rose 1.1 percent month-to-month, and 16.5 percent year-over year. Dips in private residential construction spending outweighed those gains, however, with a 2.8 percent drop month-to-month and a 10.9 percent drop from the same period the year before.

Private spending equaled $260.4 billion in December, or 97 percent of all home construction spending.

The bureau valued nonresidential construction spending at $633.8 billion in December, a 9.8 percent year-over-year drop. But, with an estimated 0.5 percent drop, the rate remained virtually unchanged from the rate for November. Such spending includes construction of manufacturing, educational, health care, transportation and power facilities, among others.

The total construction spending estimate for December fell to a seasonally adjusted rate of $902.5 billion, 1.2 percent below the revised November figure of $913.2 billion and 9.9 percent below the estimate for December 2008 of just over $1 trillion.

Total construction spending in all of 2009 fell 12.4 percent, to $939.1 billion from $1,072.1 billion spent in 2008. Total private construction spending drove the decrease with an 18.8 percent decline, to $621.8 billion from $766.2 billion in 2008. At the same time, total public construction spending in 2009 increased 3.7 percent, to $317.3 billion from $306 billion in 2008.

The bureau notes the estimates in its report are subject to sampling variability and nonsampling error and may be revised in coming months.

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