WASHINGTON — Nonresidential construction spending slipped 1 percent on a monthly basis in November, but still managed to expand 4 percent on a year-over-year basis according to the latest figures released by the U.S. Census Bureau. Spending for the month totaled $617 billion on a seasonally adjusted, annualized basis. In addition, the government revised its October spending figure up from $611.8 billion to $622.9 billion.
“November’s drop in nonresidential construction spending ends four consecutive months of spending growth, but represents only a minor dip in the industry’s momentum,” said Anirban Basu, Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) chief economist. “November’s figure would have represented a continuation of nonresidential spending’s steady recovery were it not for a sizable upward revision to October’s data (+$11.1 billion). Through the first 11 months of 2014, nonresidential spending is up 6.6 percent from the same point in 2013 and with only December’s spending data yet to be revealed, it is a near certainty that yearly nonresidential spending will top the $600 billion mark for the first time in the past five years.
“Conditions remain conducive to continued construction spending growth,” said Basu. “Both the quantity and quality of job growth continues to improve, which will fuel the ongoing recovery in office-related spending. The dip in oil prices may provide the strongest headwind for construction spending growth. Not only will inexpensive fuel greenlight construction projects that may otherwise be stalled, it also serves to boost consumer spending. This in turn may lead to more construction starts, specifically in the lodging and amusement and recreation categories.”
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Publication date: 1/5/2015