Construction spending in October came in roughly flat with September at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $910.8 billion, the Commerce Department reported Tuesday, beating estimates for a decline of 0.5% among economists surveyed by Thomson Reuters.
The estimates for September and August, however, were revised sharply lower, with September going from a gain of 3.9% to 0.8% and August from a drop of 0.1% to a loss of 0.9%.
Compared to last October, spending was down 14.4%. For the first ten months of 2009, spending was estimated at $794 billion, 12.6% below the same period last year.
Private residential construction rose 4.2% from a downwardly revised September reading to an annual pace of $250.3 billion, still 23.6% below October, 2008. Private non-residential construction fell 2.5% from September to a rate of $338.6 billion in October, 20.6% off last year's October pace.
Public construction spending was at a pace of $321.8 billion, 0.4% below the revised September estimate of $323.2 billion but up 3.8% from last October.