AGC: Construction Spending Slips 0.3 Percent in February

Apr 24, 2024

According to an analysis of a new government report released by the Associated General Contractors of America, total construction spending declined from January to February to an annual rate of nearly $2.1 trillion, but all categories posted year-over-year gains.

However, AGC Chief Economist Ken Simonson noted the monthly decline in February could have been caused by changes in winter weather patterns, including heavy rain and snow in the west.

“There were monthly decreases for nearly all types of nonresidential projects, but every spending segment increased from a year earlier, suggesting the current downturns may reflect short-term challenges such as severe weather, not fading demand,” he said.

While the figure was revised downward 0.3 percent below the January rate, it was 10.7 percent above the February 2023 level.

The report showed spending on private nonresidential construction decreased 0.9 percent in February but rose 12.6 percent from February 2023.

The largest construction segments followed suit.

Manufacturing construction dipped 0.6 percent for the month but jumped 31.8 percent year-over-year. Commercial construction slumped 1.7 percent in February but ticked up 0.9 percent over 12 months. Utilities fell 0.5 percent in February but rose 6.9 percent year-over-year.

The report also revealed that public construction spending decreased by 1.2 percent for the month but jumped 16.8 percent from a year earlier.

The largest public segment, highway and street construction, fell by 1.6 percent in February but was up 18.5 percent from February 2023. Public educational spending fell 1.8 percent from January but climbed 15.4 percent year-over-year.

Residential construction fared better, as spending on private residential construction gained 0.7 percent for the month and 6.3 percent year-over-year.

Single-family construction climbed 1.4 percent from January, the tenth-straight month that figure increased. Spending on multifamily projects dipped 0.2 percent in February but remained 6.1 percent higher than a year earlier.

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