Nonresidential construction spending expanded strongly in July, growing 2.5 percent on a monthly basis and rising a robust 8.6 percent on a year-over-year basis according to a Sept. 2 release from the U.S. Census Bureau. Spending for the month totaled $617.8 billion on a seasonally adjusted, annualized basis. The government also revised upward a somewhat disappointing June nonresidential construction spending estimate from $589 billion to $603 billion and the estimate for May from $606 billion to $611 billion.
“Today’s encouraging report provides further evidence that a vigorous nonresidential construction recovery is finally at hand,” said Associated Builders and Contractors Chief Economist Anirban Basu. “Increased job growth, booming energy production, expanding industrial production and normalizing capital markets are all contributing to nonresidential construction’s renewed momentum and confidence among developers and other significant consumers of construction services is high, signaling ongoing recovery.
"The economy is recovering rapidly enough to improve real estate conditions in meaningful ways without triggering a shift in the Federal Reserve’s still accommodative policy making,” said Basu. “Both stock and bond markets have been rallying of late, which has helped to generate wealth and lower borrowing costs simultaneously, an ideal situation for construction. Progress has been particularly apparent in power and industrial segments, with year-over-year construction spending up 26 percent in the power category and 24 percent in manufacturing.”
Spending increased on a monthly basis in 11 of 16 nonresidential construction subsectors in July.
- Office-related construction spending grew by 0.1 percent in July and is up 20.0 percent from the same time one year ago.
- Health care-related construction spending grew 1.6 percent for the month, but is down 6.0 percent from the same time last year.
- Manufacturing related spending grew 4.7 percent on a monthly basis and is up 23.9 percent on an annual basis.
- Education-related construction spending grew 0.5 percent for the month but is down 1.2 percent on a year-over-year basis.
- Lodging construction spending is up 2.7 percent on a monthly basis and is up 16.0 percent on a year-over-year basis.
- Spending in the water supply category expanded 2.0 percent from June, but is 2.8 percent lower than at the same time last year.
- Construction spending in the transportation category grew 0.4 percent on a monthly basis and has expanded by 2.2 percent on an annual basis.
- Amusement and recreation-related construction spending grew 0.2 percent on a monthly basis and is up 12.0 percent from the same time last year.
- Highway and street-related construction spending expanded 6.9 percent in July and is up 2.7 percent compared to the same time last year.
- Public safety-related construction spending gained 3.3 percent on a monthly basis and is up 9.6 percent on a year-over-year basis.
- Power construction spending gained 7.2 percent for the month and is 25.7 percent higher than at the same time one year ago.
Spending in five nonresidential construction subsectors declined in July.
- Commercial construction spending fell 2.8 percent in July, but is up 6.9 percent on a year-over-year basis.
- Communication construction spending fell 1.2 percent for the month and is down 11.3 percent on an annual basis.
- Religious spending fell 5.1 percent for the month and is down 1.3 percent from the same time last year.
- Sewage and waste disposal-related construction spending fell 1.4 percent for the month, but has grown 3.1 percent on a 12-month basis.
- Conservation and development-related construction spending fell 7.1 percent for the month, but is up 24.8 percent on a yearly basis.