Nonresidential spending in construction increased from January to February, this time rising by just over 1%, according to an Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) analysis of U.S. Census Bureau. In total, nonresidential spending amounted to $773.8 billion, a 4.8% increase over this same time from last year. Despite some of these numbers going up, ABC said the economic readings for construction and other fields are weaker than usual.
Private nonresidential spending saw a drop by 0.5% for February and is only up by 0.1% on a year-over-year basis. Public nonresidential spending, conversely, is up 3.7% from last month.
"A number of economic readings have come in weaker than expected of late, including retail sales and February employment," said ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basu. "Now private nonresidential construction has effectively flatlined during the past year, with spending virtually unchanged on a year-ago basis despite higher materials costs. This suggests that the actual physical amount of construction put in place has declined in real terms during the past year.
—Christie Citranglo, editorial associate