Residential Spending Slumps For 6th Straight Month As Infrastructure Spending Soars Most Since 2003

The headline construction spending print was celebrated, rising a better-than-expected 1.3% MoM (the most since April 2018) in January, but below the surface the story is notably mixed.

Private Residential building spending dropped 0.3% MoM - the sixth straight monthly decline (and private residential home improvement spending fell 0.3% in Jan. to $181.3b). But the headline was saved by a surge in non-residential building spending of 2.4% MoM - the biggest jump since Jan 2016.

@Takis2910 also noted that this month's headline construction data is upwardly biased thanks to heavy downward revisions going back several months and in fact adjusted for inflation, real total construction spending is down 4.7% YoY - "ominous" as he notes...

And it was government spending that rescued the headline as public construction rose 4.9% in Jan - the largest increase since March 2004. Government construction spending was 24.5% of total in Jan thanks to a massive surge in infrastructure spending on Highway and Street improvements...

So, the summary of today's construction spending data is that non-governmental spending is extremely weak (the biggest YoY drop since Dec 2010), signaling a lack of confidence...

...and only government-spending is saving  the economy.