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Wednesday, April 01, 2015 5:42 PM

Construction Spending Unexpectedly Declines; Good News For Economists!

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Inquiring minds are investigating construction spending, yet another economic report blamed on bad weather.

As has been the case recently, bad weather was unforeseen by economists even though they made their estimates recently, and the report is for February.

Construction spending for February came in today at -0.1% while the Bloomberg Construction Spending Consensus Estimate for February was a gain of 0.2%.

Construction spending unexpectedly dipped 0.1 percent in February after falling 1.7 percent in January. Market expectations were for a 0.2 percent increase.

February's decrease was led by public outlays which dropped 0.8 percent. Private nonresidential construction spending rebounded 0.5 percent. Private residential spending slipped 0.2 percent.

On a year-ago basis, total outlays were up 2.1 percent in February compared to 1.4 percent in January.

Adverse weather may be still affecting construction data. There is a chance of a normal weather rebound with warmer spring weather. But until later numbers come in, GDP growth estimates are likely being bumped down. Still, rebound data could send estimates up.
March Weather Forecast Coming Up

By now, I would have thought economists would have figured out that February weather was much worse than they thought given that consensus estimates for nearly every report have been overly optimistic.

Economists blame the weather repeatedly, yet keep estimating on the high side.

Good News!

For economists seeking good news, I have some to offer: February is finally over!

We can now focus on the weather during March.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

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