Nonresidential construction spending increased 1.6 percent on a monthly basis in October after declining 1.3 percent in September, according to the Dec. 2 release by the U.S. Census Bureau. (This release contained two months of data because of the federal government shutdown.) On a year-over-year basis, nonresidential construction spending is down 0.7 percent through October. Spending totaled $575.563 billion for the month on a seasonally adjusted, annualized basis.
  
“As expected, construction spending was hindered by a combination of elevated uncertainty and delayed procurement resulting from the government shutdown,” said Associated Builders and Contractors Chief Economist Anirban Basu. “The October data suggest nonresidential construction spending could regain a certain degree of momentum during the months ahead, though the long-anticipated acceleration in spending is unlikely to occur until after the first quarter of 2014.” 

Thirteen of 16 nonresidential construction subsectors posted increases in spending in October.
  • Public safety-related construction spending grew 5.6 percent, but has declined 1.2 percent on a year-over-year basis.
  • Amusement and recreation-related spending was up 1.8 percent on a monthly basis, but is 1 percent lower than the same time last year.
  • Conservation and development spending was up 6.7 percent for the month, but is down 7.2 percent for the year.
  • Lodging spending grew by 1.2 percent on a monthly basis and is up 17.5 percent on a year-over-year basis.
  • Religious spending grew 2.2 percent for the month, but is down 12.6 percent compared to the same time last year.
  • Education-related construction spending expanded 8.1 percent for the month, but is down 12.6 percent on a year-over-year basis.
  • Commercial construction spending increased 2.8 percent in October and is up 4.4 percent on a year-over-year basis.
  • Water supply spending edged up 1.1 percent for the month and is 14.3 percent higher than the same time last year.  
  • Health care-related construction spending was up 1.8 percent for the month but is down 0.6 percent for the year.

Spending in the following three nonresidential construction subsectors was down in October.
  • Sewage and waste disposal-related construction spending declined 2.6 percent for the month, but has grown 4.5 percent on an annual basis. 
  • Construction spending in the power category declined 3.7 percent on a monthly basis and is down 15.1 percent for the year.
  • Communication-related construction spending fell 8.2 percent for the month and is down 16.1 percent on a yearly basis.