Nonresidential construction spending bounced back in October, expanding 1% on a monthly basis and 4.3% year over year, according to a Dec. 2 release from the U.S. Census Bureau. Spending for the month totaled $611.8 billion on a seasonally adjusted, annualized basis. Additionally, the government revised the September spending figure up to $605.8 billion from $596.1 billion.
“This month’s increase in nonresidential construction spending is far more consistent with the anecdotal information floating around the industry, which generally indicates that firms are becoming busier, and that backlog is expanding,” said Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) Chief Economist Anirban Basu. “Although last month’s numbers for nonresidential construction spending and employment were disappointing and could have implied the nation’s nonresidential construction recovery is stalling, that is not the case.
“The outlook for 2015 remains upbeat,” said Basu. “The economy has gained momentum over the past six to seven months, and that is consistent with more aggressive construction starts and spending during the year to come. Even as the economy has gained momentum, the Federal Reserve has remained extraordinarily accommodative due in part to benign inflation readings. Low interest rates combined with solid economic momentum likely mean expansion for the nonresidential construction industry during the year ahead.”
11 of 16 nonresidential construction subsectors posted monthly increases in spending.
· Office-related construction spending grew by 2% in October and is up 16.3% from the same time a year ago.
· Lodging construction spending is up 3.3% on a monthly basis and is up 15.9% on a year-over-year basis.
· Conservation and development-related construction spending grew 4.6% for the month and is up 33.1% on a yearly basis.
· Spending in the water supply category expanded 0.9% on a monthly basis but is down 1.8% on a year-over-year basis.
· Amusement and recreation-related construction spending expanded 2.2% in October and is up 1.4% from the same time last year.
· Manufacturing-related spending expanded 3.4% on a monthly basis and is up 22.2% on an annual basis.
· Health care-related construction spending expanded 0.6% for the month but is down 8.4% from the same time last year.
· Education-related construction spending expanded 1.8% for the month and is up 3.6% on a year-over-year basis.
· Construction spending in the transportation category expanded 2.7% on a monthly basis and has expanded 1.6% on an annual basis.
· Highway and street-related construction spending expanded 1.2% in October and is up 0.1% compared to the same time last year.
· Public safety-related construction spending expanded 11.6% on a monthly basis but is down 1.2% on a year-over-year basis.
Monthly spending in five nonresidential construction subsectors declined in October.
· Commercial construction spending fell 2.2% for the month but has grown 9.1% on a year-over-year basis.
· Communication construction spending declined 1.9% for the month and is down 9.4% for the year.
· Religious construction spending fell 3.7% for the month and is down 4.6% from the same time last year.
· Sewage and waste disposal-related construction spending declined 0.4% for the month and is down 0.2% on a 12-month basis.
· Power construction spending fell 1% for the month but is 0.7% higher than at the same time a year ago.