Construction continues (U.S. Army photo by Todd Plain/Released)

Construction continues on the control structure of Folsom Dam’s new auxiliary spillway June 17, 2013, in Folsom, Calif.

Nonresidential Construction Spending Inches Higher

Thirteen of 16 nonresidential construction subsectors posted increases in spending in October.

Nonresidential construction spending increased 1.6% on a monthly basis in October after declining 1.3% in September, according to the December 2 release by the U.S. Census Bureau. (This release contained two months of data because of the federal government shutdown.) On a year-over-year basis, nonresidential construction spending is down 0.7% through October. Spending totaled $575.563 billion for the month on a seasonally adjusted, annualized basis.

"As expected, construction spending was hindered by a combination of elevated uncertainty and delayed procurement resulting from the government shutdown," said Associated Builders and Contractors Chief Economist Anirban Basu. "The October data suggest nonresidential construction spending could regain a certain degree of momentum during the months ahead, though the long-anticipated acceleration in spending is unlikely to occur until after the first quarter of 2014."

Thirteen of 16 nonresidential construction subsectors posted increases in spending in October.

  • Public safety-related construction spending grew 5.6%, but has declined 1.2% on a year-over-year basis.
  • Amusement and recreation-related spending was up 1.8% on a monthly basis, but is 1% lower than the same time last year.
  • Conservation and development spending was up 6.7% for the month, but is down 7.2% for the year.
  • Lodging spending grew by 1.2% on a monthly basis and is up 17.5% on a year-over-year basis.
  • Religious spending grew 2.2% for the month, but is down 12.6% compared to the same time last year.
  • Education-related construction spending expanded 8.1% for the month, but is down 12.6% on a year-over-year basis.
  • Commercial construction spending increased 2.8% in October and is up 4.4% on a year-over-year basis.
  • Water supply spending edged up 1.1% for the month and is 14.3% higher than the same time last year.
  • Health care-related construction spending was up 1.8% for the month but is down 0.6% for the year.

Spending in the following three nonresidential construction subsectors was down in October.

  • Sewage and waste disposal-related construction spending declined 2.6% for the month, but has grown 4.5% on an annual basis.
  • Construction spending in the power category declined 3.7% on a monthly basis and is down 15.1% for the year.
  • Communication-related construction spending fell 8.2% for the month and is down 16.1% on a yearly basis.
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