Public Sector Lifts Nonresidential Construction Spending as Private Projects Lag

While the two sides are going in opposite directions, overall commercial outlays have outpaced inflation since the start of the pandemic, an economist said.

1 Min Read
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Nonresidential construction spending ticked up 0.2% in March to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1.19 trillion, according to Associated Builders and Contractors’ analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data.

The rise in March signals a positive shift following two consecutive months of construction spending contraction at the beginning of 2024, according to the report. But it was also lopsided, with civil works making gains as private projects, weighted down by higher interest rates and costs, continued to struggle.

“The increase was entirely due to increased public construction spending,” said Anirban Basu, ABC chief economist. “Ongoing spending strength, driven by both the public sector and the ascendant manufacturing category, continues to support healthy backlog for contractors.”

To read the rest of this story from our sister publication, Construction Dive, click here.

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