Nonresidential Spending Down For Month, Up for Year

Nonresidential construction spending fell 0.4 percent on a monthly basis in March, according to analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data by Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC). Year-over-year spending, however, was up 8.3 percent to $695.7 billion.

Eight of 16 nonresidential construction subsectors experienced monthly spending growth in March, and 12 are up on a year-ago basis.

“Viewed optimistically, one can conclude that nonresidential construction has stabilized at a high level,” says ABC chief economist Anirban Basu. “While the last several months have failed to deliver significant spending growth, many contractors indicate that they remain busy and that backlog levels are satisfactory. Still, one might have expected better spending growth performance given the combination of steady job growth nationally, large sums of capital coming from abroad and invested in the U.S. and surprisingly low interest rates.”

The eight sectors that experienced spending increases in March on a monthly basis include lodging, healthcare and commercial. Among the eight that saw decreases were education, office and transportation.