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Construction spending drops in October 2018

By |  December 12, 2018


Construction spending dipped in October from September, but still increased from the October 2017 total, according to an analysis of new census data from the Associated General Contractors of America (AGCA).

Total construction spending in October reached a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of $1.309 trillion, a 0.1 percent drop from September, but a 4.9 percent increase from October 2017.

Private residential construction fell 0.5 percent for October, but again increased 1.8 percent from the same period in 2017. Similarly, private nonresidential spending declined 0.3 percent from September to October, but improved 6.4 percent year-over-year. Public construction spending, comprising public fundings and infrastructure, increased 0.8 percent in October and 8.5 percent compared to last October.

Investment in public infrastructure, however, declined from recent peaks, causing association officials to urge the White House and Congress to act promptly on comprehensive infrastructure legislation.

“Although most segments of construction continue to post year-over-year spending gains, investment in vitally needed infrastructure has stalled or shrunk in the past four months,” says Ken Simonson, chief economist at AGCA. “If infrastructure contractors start losing employees to more-active construction segments, it may be hard to get infrastructure projects done on time once funding resumes.”

Zach Mentz

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