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Nonresidential Construction Spending Slips but Remains Near Record High

Anirban Basu, Chief Economist, ABC
Anirban Basu, Chief Economist, ABC
National nonresidential construction spending decreased 0.3 percent in April, according to an Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) analysis of data published June 3 by the U.S. Census Bureau. On a seasonally adjusted annualized basis, nonresidential spending totaled $1.2 trillion.

Spending was down on a monthly basis in 10 of the 16 nonresidential subcategories. Private nonresidential spending decreased 0.3 percent, while public nonresidential construction spending was down 0.2 percent in April.

“Nonresidential construction spending fell for the second consecutive month in April but remains just 0.3 percent below the all-time high established in February,” said ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basu. “An unprecedented increase in manufacturing construction spending has pushed overall nonresidential activity 31.9 percent higher over the past two years.”

Going forward, “Ongoing investment in industrial facilities as well as significant infrastructure-related outlays will keep nonresidential spending elevated despite the current expectation that interest rates will stay higher for longer,” Basu said. “This outlook is reflected in ABC’s Construction Confidence Index, which shows that a majority of contractors expect their sales to increase over the next two quarters.”

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