Construction Oct. Spending Posts Monthly and Year-Over-Year Increases

Engineering News-Record | By Tom Ichniowski
December 1, 2016

Construction spending edged up in October from September’s level and posted a stronger year-over-year gain, the Commerce Dept.’s Bureau of the Census has reported.

The bureau’s latest monthly report on the value of construction put in place, released on Dec. 1, said October’s estimated annual rate was $1.173 trillion, an 0.5% increase from the previous month and a 3.4% rise from October 2015.

The report also said October nonresidential construction dipped 0.3% from the previous month, to a $699.7-billion annual rate, but rose 2.6% from the year-earlier level.

Eight of the 16 nonresidential segments experienced month-to-month upticks, including educational facilities, which rose 2.3% to a $92.4-billion rate; transportation, up 2.2% to $42.2 billion; and highways and streets, up 1.9% to $91.7 billion.

In the minus column were power, the largest nonresidential sector, which was down 3.8%, to a $92.4-billion rate; health care, which was off 3.1%, to $41.4 billion; and manufacturing, which declined 2.7%, to $73.9 billion.

Looking at year-over-year comparisons, “Certain segments are red hot,” said Anirban Basu, Associated Builders and Contractors chief economist. They include office buildings, which surged 24.8%, to $70.7 billion; and lodging, which jumped 20.9%, to $27.4 billion.

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