Nonresidential construction spending slipped in August, according to an Oct. 1 release from the U.S. Census Bureau. Nonresidential construction spending shrank 1.2% on a monthly basis in August but has still managed to expand 6% year-over-year. Spending for the month totaled $603.7 billion on a seasonally adjusted, annualized basis. The government also revised the July spending figure down from $617.8 billion to $611.3 billion.
“This is why it is never a good idea to get excited about one month’s worth of data,” said Associated Builders and Contractors Chief Economist Anirban Basu. “After a significant acceleration in spending in July, the August report depicts a steady but unspectacular recovery. Based on various industry surveys, including ABC’s own confidence and backlog indicators, the steady pace of recovery will continue.
“Macroeconomic fundamentals remain promising for growth moving forward,” said Basu. “Job growth has been reasonably steady during the past 12 months, and the quality of jobs added to the economy has improved during the course of the current year, which helps explain the ongoing recovery in office-related spending. Federal Reserve policy remains accommodative and interest rates remain benign, which will help support business investment, including in construction, going forward. Consumer spending also should help prompt additional construction, including in the lodging and amusement and recreation categories.”
Seven of 16 nonresidential construction subsectors posted increases in spending in August on a monthly basis.
• Office-related construction spending grew 1.1% in August and is up 18.9% from the same time a year ago.
• Manufacturing-related spending grew 1.7% on a monthly basis and is up 14.5% on an annual basis.
• Lodging construction spending is up 0.9% on a monthly basis and is up 10.2% on a year-over-year basis.
• Amusement and recreation-related construction spending grew 0.9% on a monthly basis and is up 3% from the same time last year.
• Communication construction spending expanded 3.4% for the month but is down 10.5% on a year-over-year basis.
• Religious project spending grew 0.9% for the month and is up 1.4% from the same time last year.