ABC: Manufacturing activity continues to drive nonresidential growth

By |  December 4, 2023
Photo: P&Q Staff

Anirban Basu, chief economist at the Associated Builders & Contractors (ABC), says manufacturing construction made up more than 45 percent of nonresidential construction spending’s 0.1 percent increase in October. Photo: P&Q Staff

National nonresidential construction spending increased 0.1 percent in October, according to an Associated Builders & Contractors (ABC) analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data.

On a seasonally adjusted annualized basis, nonresidential spending totaled $1.1 trillion.

Spending was up on a monthly basis in eight of the 16 nonresidential subcategories. Private nonresidential spending increased 0.1 percent in October, while public nonresidential construction spending was up 0.2 percent.

“Nonresidential construction spending increased for the 16th consecutive month in October and is now up an even 20 percent over the past year,” says Anirban Basu, ABC’s chief economist. “As has been the case, more than 45 percent of that year-over-year increase is due to surging construction activity in the manufacturing sector, though infrastructure-related categories like highway and street and sewage and waste disposal have also outperformed.”

One area that declined in the month, however, was commercial construction. The segment, which includes construction of distribution and warehouse space, fell sharply in October, Basu says.

“This is likely due to a severe slowdown in the freight industry and slowing warehouse-related construction rather than a sudden decline in retail-related construction,” he says. “Despite weakness in the commercial category and other headwinds like high interest rates and labor shortages, contractors remain optimistic about their sales over the next six months, according to ABC’s Construction Confidence Index.”

Related: Construction employment up in September, industry headwinds remain

Jack Kopanski

About the Author:

Jack Kopanski is the Managing Editor of Pit & Quarry and Editor-in-Chief of Portable Plants. Kopanski can be reached at 216-706-3756 or

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