A new report just issued by the Associated General Contractors of America shows that the seasonally adjusted annual rate of construction spending dipped to $1.285 trillion in March.
That number is based on figures compiled by the U.S. Census and analyzed by AGC.
Even though the March numbers were 1.7 percent lower than what was recorded in February, overall construction spending is still up by 3.6 percent from March of 2017 when spending stood at $1.240 trillion.
The decline was particularly noted in the lodging, healthcare, manufacturing, and commercial construction segments.
One of the reasons for the decline in spending, said Stephen Sandherr, chief executive officer of the AGC, in a statement, was due to the Trump Administration’s announcement that it was increasing tariffs for both steel and aluminum imports.
“Not only are contractors getting squeezed by higher prices for steel and aluminum products, but it seems many private sector developers are rethinking some investments amid growing fears of a trade war,” said Sandherr.
While the AGC has praised the administration’s moves to exempt some countries from the higher tariffs, the organization nevertheless maintains that “continued uncertainty about whether and how long those exemptions will remain in place are contributing to continued price increases for steel and aluminum products that many contractors have to absorb.”
By Garry Boulard
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