Construction spending declined in October from September numbers, but increased from the 2017 total, according to an analysis by the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC). Investment in public infrastructure posted declines from recent peaks, causing association officials to urge Congress to act on infrastructure legislation.
Construction spending totaled $1.309 trillion at a seasonally adjusted annual rate in October, a dip of 0.1 percent from September spending. Residential construction fell 0.5 percent for the month, but increased 1.8 percent year-over-year. Private nonresidential spending declined 0.3 percent from September, and public construction spending increased 0.8 percent for the month.
“Although most segments of construction continue to post year-over-year spending gains, investment in vitally needed infrastructure has stalled or shrunk in the past four months,” said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist. “If infrastructure contractors start losing employees to more-active construction segments, it may be hard to get infrastructure projects done on time once funding resumes.”
Simonson said public spending was boosted by large increases in educational spending and other public building segments, while all public infrastructure declined from recent highs. Spending on highway and street construction also dropped 2.1 percent since August.
Association officials continue to call for investment in repairing and modernizing infrastructure in the near future.