Nonresidential Construction Spending Ticks Higher in November, Down Year-Over-Year, ABC Says

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Nonresidential construction spending expanded .6 percent in November, totaling $719.2 billion on a seasonally adjusted basis, according to an Associated Builders and Contractors analysis of data released by the U.S. Census Bureau. Despite the month-over-month expansion, nonresidential spending fell 1.3 percent from November 2016. Private nonresidential construction spending is down 3.1 percent year-over-year, while public sector spending has increased 1.7 percent over the same period. Spending in the manufacturing and power categories, two of the larger nonresidential subsectors, fell by a combined $21.7 billion over the past year. “The November report represented a stark reversal of preexisting … Read more

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ABC Chief Economist Predicts Stable 2018 Construction Economy

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Associated Builders and Contractors Chief Economist Anirban Basu predicts stability for the construction industry’s economy and expanding nonresidential construction spending in 2018. While construction project backlog and contractor confidence remain high heading into the new year, Basu warns there are risks to the 2018 outlook as a number of potential cost increases could come into play. “With wage pressures building, healthcare costs surging and fuel prices edging higher, inflation is becoming more apparent,” Basu said. “That could translate into some meaningful interest rate increases in 2018, which all things being equal is not good for construction spending. … Read more

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Architecture Billings Upturn Shows Broad Strength

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Even with the uncertainty related to pending tax reform legislation that likely will have a mixed effect on the construction industry, design services at architecture firms remains in high demand. The American Institute of Architects reported the November ABI score was 55.0, up from a score of 51.7 in the previous month. This score reflects an increase in design services provided by U.S. architecture firms (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings). The new projects inquiry index was 61.1, up from a reading of 60.2 the previous month, while the new design contracts index rose … Read more

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Construction Jobs Numbers Rebound in November

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The nation’s construction sector added 24,000 net new jobs in November, representing a 0.3 percent month-over-month increase, according to an Associated Builders and Contractors analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics data recently released. Nonresidential construction employment added 8,600 net new jobs in November, a figure that would have been substantially higher were it not for heavy and civil engineering, which lost 7,800 for the month. In October, nonresidential construction firms shed 3,600 net positions. The construction industry unemployment rate increased by 0.5 percentage points and now stands at 5 percent. While this increase is likely due to … Read more

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