Census Bureau revises 10 years’ worth of construction spending figures

The largest revisions came in the last two years and were largely upward.

January 06, 2016 |
Census Bureau revises 10 years’ worth of construction spending figures

Photo: SounderBruce/Creative Commons.

On Monday, January 4, 2016, the Census Bureau revised 10 years’ worth of construction spending figures after redoing the weighting for residential improvements. The largest revisions came in the last two years and were largely upward.

The amount of residential construction spending that contributes to GDP varies by year, but in the third quarter of 2015 construction spending made up 6.1% of GDP, with residential spending accounting for 3.4%.

Patrick Newport, economist at IHS Global Insight, expects about $40 billion to be added to 2014 GDP, showing a growth rate of 2.6% rather than 2.4%. He also expects 2015 to come in at 2.6%, versus 2.4% that he previously estimated based on three quarters of data. First estimates for 2015 GDP will be released on Jan. 29.

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