Arizona Construction Sales up 12%; U.S. Numbers Up 9%
By Eric Jay Toll for Arizona Builder’s Exchange.
Arizona scored double-digit increases in construction spending in January 2014 over the previous year. Nationally, April construction volume was up 8.6 percent compared to the previous year. January is the latest data available for Arizona. The U.S. Census Bureau data is generated more quickly.
When compared to December 2013 (Arizona) and March (U.S.), the data are less optimistic. Arizona sales were down $8M in April and U.S. volume gained about 0.2 percent in for the month.
Arizona on the Road to a $12B Year—Highest Since 2009
Taking year-over-year data, double-digit gains in Arizona construction spending continued into January. The newest transaction privilege tax (sales tax) data from the Arizona Department of Revenue says activity for the month was up 12.2 percent over 2013.
January’s $919M in taxable construction sales put the state on a pace that could approach $12B for the year, if spring and early summer sales continue the gains over last year. Sales for the year so far are up 14.7 percent over the same seven months in 2012.
Fiscal 2013-14 started off with a bang—a pair of billion-dollar months in July and August, increases of 16 and 19 percent over last year. Since July’s $1B, the trend in month-to-month dollars has been dropping. Sales in January were down $8M from December’s $927M, down nearly $100M from July.
For the seven months of the year, Arizona construction sales top $6.8B, compared to $5.9B for the same period last year and $5.8B in fiscal year 2011-12. It the pace continues through the June 30 end of the fiscal year, construction sales will be close to $11.8B, the highest construction sales year since 2009.
National Sales Approaching $1T for the Year
The Census Bureau projects construction volume on a calendar year. April’s $70.5B in sales, 8.9 percent higher than April 2013, puts the nation on track for an annual volume of $954B, a projection increased from the March annual projection of $951B.
Private construction is carrying the construction economy. Volume is on an annual pace of $687B, an increase of 11.7 percent over April last year, but essentially flat from March 2014.
Sectors with the biggest gains over last year include multifamily, up 31.2 percent; office, up 25.6 percent; and communications, up 21.4 percent. Interestingly, comparing April to March, 2014, the biggest sector with volume increase is Amusement and Recreation, up 9.7 percent month-over-month.
April public construction is up only 1.2 percent year-over-year, and 0.8 percent over March. Conservation and development was up 18.5 percent and power was up 15.6 percent over April last year. Public sector spending plummeted for residential (down 29.3 percent), commercial (down 28.9 percent) and health care (down 13.8 percent).