Economic Report: Even with construction spending zigzagging, outlays in first 5 months are up 6%

Construction spending in May was virtually unchanged when compared with upwardly revised April data, the Commerce Department said Monday.

Outlays for all construction ran at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1.23 trillion, about 1% higher than April’s pace, which was originally reported as $1.22 trillion. The MarketWatch consensus of economist forecasts called for a 0.3% decline in May.

Spending data can be choppy, but total construction outlays for the first five months of the year are 6.1% higher than in the same period a year ago.

“All these numbers are subject to substantial future revisions and aren’t to be taken seriously,” wrote Ian Shepherdson, chief economist for Pantheon Macroeconomics.

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