Construction spending during May 2020 was estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1,356.4 billion, 2.1 percent below the revised April estimate of $1,386.1 billion. The May figure is 0.3 percent above the May 2019 estimate of $1,352.9 billion. During the first five months of this year, construction spending amounted to $543.2 billion, 5.7 percent above the $513.7 billion for the same period in 2019.
Private spending decreased and public spending increased:
Spending on private construction was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1,001.2 billion, 3.3 percent below the revised April estimate of $1,035.2 billion. …
In May, the estimated seasonally adjusted annual rate of public construction spending was $355.2 billion, 1.2 percent above the revised April estimate of $350.9 billion.
This graph shows private residential and nonresidential construction spending, and public spending, since 1993. Note: nominal dollars, not inflation adjusted.
Residential spending is 21% below the previous peak.
Non-residential spending is 12% above the previous peak in January 2008 (nominal dollars).
Public construction spending is 9% above the previous peak in March 2009, and 35% above the austerity low in February 2014.
On a year-over-year basis, private residential construction spending is up slightly. Non-residential spending is down 3.4% year-over-year. Public spending is up 4.7% year-over-year.
This was below consensus expectations of a 1% increase in spending, however construction spending for the previous year was revised up.
Construction was considered an essential service in most areas and did not decline sharply like many other sectors.