We just got data on August construction activity and the industry's split personality continued to manifest itself. Specifically, residential construction spending dropped yet again -- by 1.4% from July and 16% from August 2006. Meanwhile, non-residential spending rose 1.6% on the month and 14.7% on the year. Looking deeper into the numbers, there were big increases in private spending on lodging (+4.2%) property, office buildings (+3.7%), and health care facilities (+2.1%).
This Bloomberg story
has some more details, with my thoughts on the matter. Also, if you haven't seen it already, this Chicago Tribune piece
goes into more detail about the new home sales data and what the housing slowdown may mean for the broader economy.