Construction Spending Increases in November, Outlook for 2017 Appears Favorable

High Profile
January 3, 2017

National – Construction spending hit a 10-year high in November with monthly and year-over-year gains in both public and private categories, according to an analysis by the Associated General Contractors of America. Association officials said the November data indicates that the 2017 outlook for construction is favorable even as they cautioned that demand will vary for different types of construction projects.

“These numbers confirm what contractors have been reporting—that there was no let-up in demand last year,” said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist. “Most contractors expect to remain busy in 2017, as well, although there will be a shift in the types of projects that are most active. Office construction is especially hot, while manufacturing and apartment construction are slowing sharply, and public investment is a major question mark.”

Construction spending in November totaled $1.182 trillion at a seasonally adjusted annual rate, the highest total since April 2006, Simonson said. He added that the November rate was up 0.9 percent from the month before and up 4.1 percent from the November 2015 level.

Private residential construction spending increased by 1.0 percent between October and November and rose 3.0 percent over the past 12 months. Spending on multifamily residential construction slipped 2.7 percent for the month but was 11 percent higher than in November 2015, while single-family spending climbed 1.8 percent for the month but dipped 0.9 percent from a year earlier.

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