Highway Spending Jumps 17 Percent in April

June 5, 2019

Highway and street construction spending jumped 17.2 percent in April. Construction spending totaled $1.30 trillion, according to the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC). For the first four months of 2019, spending rose by 0.2 percent from the same period in 2018.

“Overall spending was flat in April, but that masks significant differences among the various construction sectors for both the latest month and the first four months of 2019 combined,” said Ken Simonson, chief economist. “The year-to-date totals, which are a more reliable indicator of underlying trends than are initial monthly estimates, show activity is still increasing for most project types other than single-family homebuilding.”

Public construction spending increased 4.8 percent for the month, and 11.8 percent year-to-date. Educational construction climbed 8.9 percent, and transportation construction increased 6.2 percent.

Private nonresidential spending declined 2.9 percent from March to April, but the four-month total was 2.6 percent higher than in January-April 2018. Power construction increased by 2.0 percent, while commercial construction decreased by 6.0 percent. Manufacturing posted a 10.7 percent gain, and private office construction spending rose 8.0 percent.

Private residential construction spending slipped 0.6 percent for the month and 7.6 percent year-to-date. Single-family homebuilding decreased 7.1 percent in the first four months of the year, while spending on multifamily projects increased 7.9 percent.

Source: AGC