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A Deeper Dive Into the U.S. PIP Construction Statistics Reveals a Deeper Dive

From an overview perspective, the Census Bureau’s put-in-place (PIP) capital spending statistics are providing a misleading picture of what is happening in the construction marketplace. They are too buoyant.

In July, total PIP spending, seasonally adjusted and annualized (in ‘current,’ not inflation-adjusted dollars) was +0.1% month over month, with residential at +2.1% and nonresidential, -1.2%.

The month-to-month ‘total’ for June was -0.5% and for May, -1.3%. The worst m/m percentage change for ‘total’ this year occurred in April, at -3.4%, but that was hardly alarming relative to what’s been seen in many other sectors (e.g., ‘retail,’ ‘accommodation,’ and ‘food services’).

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