National nonresidential construction spending increased 0.4% in August, according to an Associated Builders and Contractors analysis of data published today by the U.S. Census Bureau. On a seasonally adjusted annualized basis, nonresidential spending totaled $1.09 trillion.
Spending was up on a monthly basis in 12 of the 16 nonresidential subcategories. Private nonresidential spending increased by 0.3%, while public nonresidential construction spending was up 0.6% in August.
“Aggregate nonresidential construction spending expanded at a respectable rate in August,” said ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basu. “But manufacturing-related and public sector projects accounted for more than 100% of the monthly increase. Privately financed commercial- and educational-related construction spending declined by almost 1% at least partially due to elevated borrowing costs.
“Despite high-interest rates and ongoing weakness in certain segments like office and retail, contractors remain relatively upbeat,” said Basu. “Despite still-high materials costs and ongoing labor shortages, a plurality of contractors expect their profit margins to increase over the next six months, according to ABC’s Construction Confidence Index.”
Visit abc.org/economics for the Construction Backlog Indicator and Construction Confidence Index, plus analysis of spending, employment, job openings and the Producer Price Index.