Construction rallies as industry spending increases 1.4 percent
Construction spending bounced back from an 11-year low in March, increasing by 1.4 percent to a total seasonally adjusted annual rate of $769 billion, according to analysis of new Census Bureau data by the Associated General Contractors of America. Association officials cautioned in a May 2 release that the industry remains weak, however, noting that total construction spending remains 6.7 percent lower than a year ago and 37 percent lower than the March 2006 peak,
Spending on lodging increased the most in March, up 6.1 percent for the month and down -31 percent for the year, followed by manufacturing (5.2 percent for the month, -28 percent for the year) and health care (2.4 percent for the month, -3.2 percent for the year), according to AGC.
"I expect we'll see improvements in the next few months in manufacturing, warehouse, hospital and data-center construction, but these gains may not offset declines in school and other public construction," said Ken Simonson, the AGC's chief economist, in the release.