According to an analysis just released by the Washington-based Associated General Contractors of America, national construction spending was down by just under 3 percent in July from where it was a year ago.
Overall construction spending stood at $1.2 trillion in July, which accounted for a marginal increase of 0.1 percent from the month before.
The lower numbers, indicating a larger trend line, were almost entirely the result of a decline in single-family homebuilding.
In a statement looking at the trends, Ken Simonson, chief economist with the AGC, said, “Overall spending totals have been fluctuating for more than two years, with divergent patterns for resident, private, nonresidential, and public construction.”
Simonson added that although construction spending in the first seven months of this year was less than in the same first seven months of 2018, “Most nonresidential and multifamily contractors remain busy and optimistic about future work.”
On the up side of the equation, spending on public construction projects realized a 5.6 percent increase from June to July of this year over the same period of time in 2018.
In the big airport, transit, rail, and port public construction categories, spending from January to July of this year was up by a significant 12 percent.
Public construction spending has also jumped by 5.6 percent since the beginning of this year, but from June to July saw only a 0.4 percent increase.
A separate report issued by Dodge Data & Analytics said that total new construction starts nationally were up by 2 percent in July over the month before, making it the third month in a row for such gains.
By Garry Boulard
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