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ABC Reports: Nonresidential Construction Spending Down Again in June, First Annual Decline Since 2013

1291931467352794367Nonresidential construction spending dipped 1 percent in June and has now contracted for three consecutive months according to analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data released today by Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC). Nonresidential spending, which totaled $682 billion on a seasonally adjusted, annualized rate, has fallen 1.1 percent on a year-over-year basis, marking the first time nonresidential spending has declined on an annual basis since July 2013.

“On a monthly basis, the numbers are not as bad as they seem, as May’s nonresidential construction spending estimate was revised higher. However, this fails to explain the first year-over-year decline in nearly three years,” said ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basu. “There are many forces at work, most of them negative, with the noteworthy exception of construction materials prices, which are down on a year-over-year basis. To the extent that savings are being passed along to purchasers of construction services, spending would appear lower in dollar terms than when measured in physical terms such as square footage.

“Thanks in part to the investment of foreign capital in America, spending related to office space and lodging are up by more than 16 percent year-over-year,” said Basu. The global economy is weak, and international investors are searching for yield and stability. U.S. commercial real estate has become a popular destination for foreign capital. However, the weakness of the global economy may also help explain the decline in manufacturing-related construction spending of nearly 5 percent for the month and more than 10 percent year-over-year.

“Though many contractors continue to report extensive backlog, the data suggest that average firm backlog may begin to retrench,” warned Basu. “The only significant driver of economic growth in America presently is consumer spending. Corporate profits remain stagnant and business investment remains underwhelming. Public sector spending does not appear positioned to accelerate anytime soon despite the passage of a federal highway bill last year.”

Precisely half of the 16 nonresidential subsectors expanded in June. Two of the largest subsectors—manufacturing and commercial—experienced significant contractions in June, however, and were responsible for a majority of the dip in spending.

Tepid spending by public agencies also continues to shape the data. Despite a monthly pick-up in spending, water-supply construction spending is down 14 percent on a year-over-year basis. Public safety construction spending is down 8.4 percent from a year ago, sewage and waste disposal by nearly 15 percent, highway and street by about 6 percent, education by 4 percent and transportation by more than 3 percent.

Chart_8_1_16 Spending_8_1_16

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http://www.abc.org/NewsMedia/ConstructionEconomics/ConstructionEconomicUpdate/tabid/270/categoryid/46/Default

ABC Reports: Nonresidential Construction Spending Flat in February

CEU2“Construction is impacted more by weather than just about any economic segment and the impact of February’s brutal weather is evident in the government’s spending figure.”—ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basu

Spending 4.1.15Blame it on the weather – that is what many economists have been doing over the past two months as economic data continue to disappoint. Retail sales, durable goods orders and other categories have not been as strong as anticipated.

Nonresidential construction has often proved an exception, with the industry’s momentum gaining steam recently. However, in February, nonresidential construction spending remained virtually unchanged inching down 0.1 percent on a monthly basis, according to the April 1 release from the U.S. Census Bureau. The February 2015 spending figure is 4.6 percent higher than February 2014, as spending for the month totaled $611.5 billion on a seasonally adjusted, annualized basis. The estimate for January spending was revised downward, from $614.1 billion to $611.9 billion, while the government revised December’s spending estimate upward from $627 billion to $629.3 billion.

“Construction is impacted more by weather than just about any economic segment and the impact of February’s brutal weather is evident in the government’s spending figure,” said Associated Builders and Contractors Chief Economist Anirban Basu. “ABC continues to forecast robust nonresidential construction spending recovery in 2015 despite the most recent monthly data, with the obvious exceptions of industry segments most directly and negatively impacted by declines in energy prices.

“The broader U.S. economy has not gotten off to as good a start in 2015 as many had expected with consumer spending growth frustrated by thriftier than anticipated shoppers,” said Basu. “With winter behind us and temperatures warming, the expectation is that economic growth will roar back during the second quarter, which is precisely what happened last year. To the extent that this proves to be true, nonresidential construction’s recovery can be expected to persist.”

Seven of 16 nonresidential construction subsectors posted increases in spending in February on a monthly basis.

  • Manufacturing-related spending expanded 6.8 percent in February and is up 37.9 percent on a year-over-year basis.
  • Conservation and development-related construction spending expanded 11 percent for the month and is up 19.8 percent on a yearly basis.
  • Office-related construction spending expanded 2.4 percent in February and is up 19 percent from the same time one year ago.
  • Amusement and recreation-related construction spending gained 2 percent on a monthly basis and is up 22.5 percent from the same time last year.
  • Education-related construction spending grew 0.3 percent for the month, but is down 0.6 percent on a year-over-year basis.
  • Construction spending in the transportation category grew 0.6 percent on a monthly basis and has expanded 9.3 percent on an annual basis.
  • Lodging-related construction spending was up 5 percent on a monthly basis and 10.4 percent on a year-over-year basis.

Spending in nine nonresidential construction subsectors failed to rise in February.

  • Health care-related construction spending fell 0.9 percent for the month and is down 4.5 percent for the year.
  • Spending in the water supply category dropped 7.8 percent from January, but is still 7.4 percent higher than at the same time last year.
  • Public safety-related construction spending lost 2.2 percent on a monthly basis and is down 9.6 percent on a year-over-year basis.
  • Commercial construction spending lost 1.9 percent in February, but is up 13.5 percent on a year-over-year basis.
  • Religious spending fell 4.8 percent for the month and is down 10.3 percent from the same time last year.
  • Sewage and waste disposal-related construction spending shed 1.4 percent for the month, but has grown 19.9 percent on a 12-month basis.
  • Power-related construction spending fell 4.5 percent for the month and is 17.2 percent lower than at the same time one year ago.
  • Lodging construction spending is down 4.4 percent on a monthly basis, but is up 18.2 percent on a year-over-year basis.
  • Sewage and waste disposal-related construction spending shed 7.5 percent for the month, but has grown 16 percent on a 12-month basis.
  • Power-related construction spending fell 1.1 percent for the month and is 13.2 percent lower than at the same time one year ago.
  • Communication-related construction spending fell 6.1 percent for the month and is down 15.5 percent for the year.
  • Highway and street-related construction spending was unchanged in February and is up 3.3 percent compared to the same time last year.

To view the previous spending report, click here.

Sikich 2015 Construction Outlook – Steady Growth Expected Across Multiple Sectors Despite Skilled Labor Shortage

Sikich 2015 Sikich 2015 2 Sikich 2015 3

ABC Reports: Nonresidential Construction Spending Slips for Second Consecutive Month

CEU2“September’s drop in nonresidential construction spending is disappointing given the growing momentum in the broader economy and the generally positive signals being sent by industry-specific leading economic indicators.”—ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basu.

Construction Spending Nov 2014Nonresidential construction spending slipped 1 percent in September but has still managed to expand 4.2 percent on a year-over-year basis, according to the Nov. 1 release from the U.S. Census Bureau. Spending for the month totaled $596.1 billion on a seasonally adjusted, annualized basis while the government slightly revised the August spending figure from $603.7 billion to $601.9 billion.

“September’s drop in nonresidential construction spending is disappointing given the growing momentum in the broader economy and the generally positive signals being sent by industry-specific leading economic indicators,” said Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) Chief Economist Anirban Basu. “Based on a combination of these leading indicators—including ABC’s own Construction Backlog Indicator and the Architecture Billings Index—and the anticipated performance of the U.S. economy, nonresidential construction spending should re-establish an upward trajectory on a seasonally adjusted basis going forward.

“With national job creation accelerating recently and interest rates remaining ultra low, one would expect private construction to perform well during the quarters ahead, while growth in publicly funded spending will be much softer,” said Basu. “The industry should be further buoyed by the economy’s two consecutive quarters of respectable economic growth, something the U.S. economy has rarely achieved during the current recovery.”

Only five of 16 nonresidential construction subsectors posted increases in spending in September on a monthly basis.

  • Office-related construction spending grew 2.4 percent in September and is up 15.7 percent from the same time one year ago.
  • Lodging construction spending is up 4.7 percent on a monthly basis and is up 14.7 percent on a year-over-year basis.
  • Conservation and development-related construction spending grew 4.1 percent for the month and is up 31.7 percent on a yearly basis.
  • Commercial construction spending gained 1.3 percent for the month and has grown 12.3 percent on a year-over-year basis.
  • Spending in the water supply category expanded 1.1 percent on a monthly basis, but is down 1.6 percent for the year.

Spending in 11 nonresidential construction subsectors declined in September.

  • Amusement and recreation-related construction spending lost 0.8 percent in September, but is up 0.6 percent from the same time last year.
  • Manufacturing-related spending fell 1.3 percent on a monthly basis, but is up 16.4 percent on a year-over-year basis.
  • Communication construction spending declined 0.7 percent for the month and is down 12.8 percent from the same time last year.
  • Religious spending fell 3.1 percent for the month, but is up 2.6 percent from the same time last year.
  • Sewage and waste disposal-related construction spending declined 2.4 percent for the month, but has expanded 1.1 percent on a 12-month basis.
  • Health care-related construction spending fell 0.9 percent for the month and is down 7.5 percent on a yearly basis.
  • Education-related construction spending fell 0.1 percent for the month, but is up 7.1 percent on a year-over-year basis.
  • Construction spending in the transportation category fell 1.1 percent on a monthly basis, but has expanded by 1.2 percent on an annual basis.
  • Highway and street-related construction spending fell 3.6 percent in September and is down 1.7 percent compared to the same time last year.
  • Public safety-related construction spending lost 2.3 percent on a monthly basis and is down 11.1 percent on a year-over-year basis.
  • Power construction spending fell 3.1 percent for the month, but is 2 percent higher than at the same time one year ago.

To view the previous spending report, click here.

ABC Reports: Nonresidential Construction Spending Rebounds in July

CEU2 “Today’s encouraging report provides further evidence that a vigorous nonresidential construction recovery is finally at hand.”—ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basu.

Construction Spending_9 2Nonresidential 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 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 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 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.

To view the previous spending report, click here.