Construction Spending Slides 5% in September, Up 12% Since 2014

October 20, 2015

Construction spending between January and September increased 12 percent over last year, but dropped 5 percent from August, according to a report by Dodge Data and Analytics.

Residential construction was up 17 percent for the period, and nonbuilding work climbed 35 percent. However, construction spending was down 5% in September from August.

Nonresidential construction in September dropped 4 percent to $152.9 billion (annual rate). The institutional categories as a group fell 13 percent, as educational facilities retreated 20 percent from the elevated amount reported in August.

Also registering September declines were public buildings (courthouses and detention facilities), down 42 percent; and religious buildings, down 31 percent.

On the plus side, transportation terminal work in September increased 21 percent, helped by the start of a $150 million airline terminal at George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston. Amusement and recreational facilities advanced 12 percent in September, reflecting the start of a $125 million addition to the Greater Columbus Convention Center in Columbus, Ohio, and healthcare facilities edged up 2 percent.

The commercial building group in September improved 4 percent, regaining some ground after a 24 percent plunge in August. Office construction climbed 20 percent, supported by such projects as the $280 million Capital One Bank headquarters in Fairfax, Va., and the $62 million renovation (phase 4) of the U.S. Department of Commerce Building in Washington D.C. Hotel construction in September increased 19 percent, aided by a $140 million resort hotel in Rohnert Park CA, while warehouse construction grew 18 percent.


Sliding back in September were store construction, down 6 percent; and garages/service stations, down 34 percent. Manufacturing plant construction in September increased 23 percent after a weak August.