Nonresidential construction maintains momentum
Nonresidential construction spending continued growing in July, despite the weak economy and housing slump, said Ken Simonson, chief economist, Associated General Contractors of America, Arlington, Va., in a Sept. 2 release. "But Congress must act promptly to avert layoffs in power and highway construction." Simonson's comment followed the release of construction spending data from the Census Bureau.
"Although the headline figure showed a drop of 0.6 percent in total construction put in place in July, the bad news was limited to residential spending, which tumbled 2.1 percent," Simonson said. "The report included a huge upward revision in June and May nonresidential spending, and yet the July figure was still 0.2 percent higher than the new June total."
Year-to-date figures comparing the first seven months of 2008 and 2007 show how broad-based the nonresidential strength is, Simonson said. Total nonresidential spending through July was 14 percent ahead of the year-ago total, and 15 of the 16 Census categories--all but religious structures--rose.