Total Construction Spending up Slightly in October
December 1, 2010

Total construction spending increased by 0.7 percent in October according to new Census Bureau data, the Associated General Contractors (AGC) of America announced today. The slight increase was driven largely by the growing demand for power projects and public construction.

Private nonresidential construction, however, slumped 0.7 percent in October, leaving the total 20.7 percent below the October 2009 figure. All 11 of the Census Bureau’s private nonresidential categories were below year-ago levels, says Ken Simonson, AGC chief economist, with only private power and transportation showing gains from September.

“Without any upward trend in key private-sector construction components like homes and office buildings, it is hard to feel optimistic about the near future,” Simonson says. “With public construction at risk of cutbacks, it is premature to conclude that construction has awakened from its long nightmare.”

Public construction, aided by federal spending on stimulus, military base realignment and Gulf Coast hurricane-control projects, edged up 0.4 percent for the month and 2.2 percent year-over-year.

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