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Nonresidential Spending At
Highest Level in Eight Years

Construction Put-in-Place Up 0.8 Percent in November


Nonresidential construction spending data for the month of November are a clear sign that the commercial and industrial building sectors have a positive short-term future, the Associated Builders and Contractors said.

Nonresidential construction spending in November, at $172.4 billion on a seasonally adjusted annual basis, is the best pace in eight years, the Associated Builders and Contractors reports. Spending rose 0.8 percent for the month and is up nearly 5 percent year-over-year.

Of the 16 nonresidential sectors the ABC monitors, nine posted month-over-month gains, including religious institutions (+9.8 percent); lodging (+6.9 percent); conservation and development (+5.1 percent); education (+2.5 percent); offices, (+2.0 percent); and commercial (+0.3 percent).

Year-to-year, lodging is +28.4 percent; offices are +27.5 percent; amusement and recreation is +13.2 percent; and commercial is +12.4 percent.

Anirban Basu, chief economist for the ABC, referred to November's construction spending report released by the Census Bureau as strong. It is an indication of a "bright short-term outlook for the commercial and industrial construction sectors," he said.

And the transition to the Trump administration should help greatly.

"With a new presidential administration coming to Washington, there is a presumption that the economic dynamics of the near-term future will be markedly different than they have been," said Basu. "If the last few weeks are any indication, the 2017 economy will be associated with tax cuts, more government spending, less financial regulation, faster economic growth, a stronger U.S. dollar, robust stock market performance and greater overall CEO confidence. That should translate into improved construction spending moving forward.

As seen in LC/DBM magazine, January 2017.

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July 16, 2019, 12:27 pm PDT

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