Private construction in the residential market was buoyed by home improvement projects, as new housing was down from last month 0.7% and down 7.9% from October of last year. Spending overall was up 2.5% from last month, and down 9.2% from October of last year.
Private nonresidential construction was down 0.7% from last month and down 20.7% from October of last year. The only nonresidential area of improvement from last month was in power utilities, which were up 7.8% from last year. Power utilities are the most significant portion of nonresidential construction, nearly meeting the combined commercial and manufacturing sectors combined in total spending.
Public construction spending was up .4% from last month and up 2.2% from last year. The two biggest components of the public construction sector are education and roads/highways. Education spending is actually down 7.4% from last year, while roads/highway spending is up 51.4%. Oddly, public safety spending is also down 10.7%. Call me crazy, but I would suggest that budget priorities need to be reconfigured here.