Construction spending nationally remained strong this spring in a range of categories, according to new numbers just released by the U.S. Census Bureau.
But compared with last year at this same time that spending was off by 2.3 percent.
The Census says its data estimates factor the “cost of labor and materials, cost of architecture and engineering work, overhead costs, interest and taxes paid during construction, and contractors’ profits.”
As such, the bureau says that in the public construction sector, spending is up a significant 12 percent over last year at this time, with highway and street construction projects up by 18 percent.
Also in public construction, education project spending was up by 7.9 percent, while spending on transportation construction projects saw a 6.8 percent gain.
The most significant spending decreases were seen in private residential projects. While multifamily construction was up by nearly 9 percent, spending on single family projects dropped 6.5 percent.
And even though some industry analysts predicted the opposite, spending on residential improvement projects was off by 16 percent.
Spending proved uneven in other segments of the large nonresidential category with commercial construction taking a 10 percent decline, while spending on manufacturing and office construction projects increased 11 and 8.5 percent respectively.
According to the latest Census Bureau data, overall construction spending nationally was at the $1.2 trillion mark, down from $1.3 trillion in April.
By Garry Boulard
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