Construction spending surpassed the $3.5 trillion mark in March, a nearly 1% increase over the month before, according to a report just issued by the Associated General Contractors of America.
Moreover, those figures are up by 5.3% over March of 2020—the first month of the Covid-19 outbreak and subsequent national economic shutdown.
While those numbers are strong, the AGC report notes that vast majority of projects this spring are in the residential sector, which overall has seen an impressive 23% increase from March of 2020 to March of this year.
A separate report issued by the National Association of Homebuilders says that overall residential construction spending has increased 23.3% in the last year, with single-family projects leading the sector.
According to the AGC report, nonresidential construction remains flat, with a 9% decrease between March of last year and March 2021.
Other sectors seeing declines include public construction, which is down by 4.6%, with highway and street construction taking a 10.9% hit.
Education institution construction also saw a 4% decrease in the 12 months leading to March 2021.
Ken Simonson, chief economist with the AGC, noted that an additional challenge confronting the national construction industry comes with the growing backlog for needed building materials.
Adding that shortage to a lack of rail and trucking services for delivering goods, added Simonson, means that “even projects that are underway are likely to take longer to complete.”
By Garry Boulard
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