Construction put in place totaled $885 billion in February, up 1.2 percent from January and 7.9 percent higher than in February 2012, according to analysis by the Associated General Contractors. Private residential construction jumped 2.2 percent for the month and 20 percent year-over-year. Private nonresidential spending rose 0.4 percent for the month and 6.1 percent year-over-year. Public construction spending increased 0.9 percent for the month but slipped 1.5 percent over 12 months.
“It is encouraging to see growth in both monthly and year-over-year totals in private residential and nonresidential construction spending,” said Ken Simonson, chief economist for AGC. “There are increasing signs that 2013 will be a good year for a wide variety of project types.
“There is little doubt that construction of new houses and apartments will continue to boom in the next several months, based on data covering recent housing starts and building permits, as well as reports of rising rents, occupancy rates and new-home sales in many markets,” Simonson said. “On the nonresidential side, there should be a lot of activity involving pipelines, manufacturing, railroads and trucking, and warehouses.”
New single-family construction rose 4.3 percent from January’s level and 34 percent from a year ago. New multifamily construction fell 2.2 percent for the month but was 52 percent above the February 2012 mark.
The largest private nonresidential category, power construction—which includes oil and gas fields and pipelines as well as power plants, alternative energy and transmission lines—increased 0.7 percent for the month and 4.0 percent over 12 months. Manufacturing construction rose 0.3 percent and 9.9 percent, respectively. Private transportation construction slumped 2.4 percent in February but climbed 17 percent year-over-year. Warehouse construction soared 8.3 percent and 19 percent. New and remodeled private office construction rose 0.3 percent and 25 percent.