Tag Archive for 'infrastructure'
Nearly 70% Approved by Voters Across the Nation, ARTBA Report Shows
Voters across the nation again demonstrated they strongly support increased investment in transportation improvements, approving 60 of 90 (67 percent) transportation-related initiatives that were on the November ballot, according to a report from the American Road & Transportation Builders Association’s Transportation Investment Advocacy Center (ARTBA-TIAC).
The measures will provide nearly $21 billion in additional in revenue for transportation projects, the ARTBA-TIAC’s post-election analysis finds.
“These election results show, once again, the public wants our government to invest in our mobility and safety and are willing to pay for it,” ARTBA President & CEO Pete Ruane said. “It doesn’t make a difference whether it is a Republican- or Democratic-leaning state. The newly-elected Congress and the White House must take note and do their job and permanently fix the Highway Trust Fund. Transportation funding cannot remain frozen in the ice of political inertia and partisanship. The states rely on federal funds for, on average, 52 percent of their highway and bridge capital investments.”
Texans approved the largest state funding initiative, redirecting nearly $1.2 billion in oil and gas revenues from the state’s rainy day fund for transportation. Voters in Maryland (81 percent) and Wisconsin (80 percent) overwhelmingly approved measures to ensure that transportation-related revenues are used exclusively for their intended purpose, and not diverted to non-transportation programs. With support of 60 percent of voters, Rhode Island voters also approved a statewide $35 million bond proposal. A Louisiana proposal to approve creation of a state constitutional amendment establishing a state infrastructure bank was defeated.
Of the county and local initiatives:
- 20 of the 32 measures (63 percent) to increase a gasoline or general sales tax for transportation investment were approved.
- 13 of the 14 measures (93 percent) to issue local bonds for transportation investment were approved.
- 23 of the 35 measures (66 percent) to increase property taxes for transportation investment were approved.
Historically, voters have approved ballot measures to increase transportation revenues, including 86 percent of initiatives in 2013, 68 percent in 2012, 55 percent in 2011, 61 percent in 2010, 78 percent in 2008, 63 percent in 2007, 77 percent in 2006, 83 percent in 2005, and 76 percent in 2004. In sum, over the past 10 years, voters have approved an average of 72 percent of the measures.
TIAC, which was launched by ARTBA in March, is an online educational platform that features detailed case studies of recent transportation funding campaigns—both successful and unsuccessful—mounted in numerous states. It includes television, radio and print ads, polling, an overview of state and local funding and finance mechanisms, and an ongoing blog detailing new developments across the nation.
Established in 1902 and headquartered today in the Nation’s Capital, ARTBA is the “consensus voice” of the U.S. transportation design and construction industry.
“The improving confidence of consumers, business owners, and real estate developers, among others, suggests that additional momentum is likely, ” —ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basu.
Nonresidential fixed investment grew 5.5 percent in the third quarter after expanding 9.7 percent in the second quarter, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis’ Oct. 30 gross domestic product (GDP) report. It has now expanded by greater than 5 percent in four of the past five quarters. In addition, investment in equipment increased 7.2 percent, while investment in nonresidential structures increased 3.8 percent.
Real gross domestic product (GDP) expanded 3.5 percent (seasonally adjusted annual rate) during the third quarter, following a 4.6 increase in the second quarter.
“It has been rare for the U.S. economy to record two consecutive good quarters since the recovery began in mid-2009,” said Associated Builders and Contractors Chief Economist Anirban Basu. “The dominant pattern has been one of a good quarter followed by a bad quarter. This lack of consistent momentum has also been seen with construction spending growth and in other leading indicators, such as the Architecture Billings Index and ABC’s own Construction Backlog Indicator.”
“However, the improving confidence of consumers, business owners, and real estate developers, among others, suggests that additional momentum is likely,” Basu said. As an example, the Consumer Confidence Index attained a seven-year high in October. The implication is that nonresidential construction spending should continue to recover, with growth continuing to be concentrated in privately financed segments.”
The following segments expanded during the third quarter and/or contributed to GDP.
- Personal consumption expenditures added 1.2 percent to GDP after contributing 1.8 percent in the second quarter.
- Spending on goods grew 11 percent after expanding 14.3 percent in the prior quarter.
- Real final sales of domestically produced output, minus changes in private inventories, increased 4.2 percent after a 3.2 percent increase in the second quarter.
- Federal government spending expanded by 10 percent following a 0.9 percent decrease in the prior quarter.
- Nondefense spending expanded 0.5 percent after decreasing by 3.8 percent in the second quarter.
- National defense spending expanded 16 percent after inching up 0.9 percent in the previous quarter.
- State and local government spending expanded 1.3 percent during the third quarter after growing 3.4 percent in the second quarter.
To view the previous GDP report, click here.
“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.
Nonresidential 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.