AGC: Construction Spending in May Hits 11-year Low

Hope and change, hope and change, hope and change...

From the Associated General Contractors of America comes this cheery news:

Construction spending in May totaled $753 billion at a seasonally adjusted annual rate, the sixth consecutive monthly decrease (following downward revisions to April and March data that initially both showed increases) and the lowest figure since 1999, the Census Bureau reported on Friday.

The May total was 0.6% lower than in April and 7.1% less than in May 2010. Private nonresidential spending provided the only ray of light, with a monthly increase of 1.2% and a relatively mild year-to-year decline of 5.1%. The strongest results came from the largest subcategory, private power (power plants, renewable power sources, transmission and oil and gas pipelines), which climbed 4.4% for the month and 11.5% year-over-year.

The next largest private nonresidential category, commercial (retail, warehouse and farm) construction, slipped 0.4% and 2.5%; followed in size by:

  • manufacturing, 1.8% and -20%;
  • health care, -0.9% and -5.9%;
  • office, 1.3% and -12%.
  • public construction fell 0.8% and 9.3%, with the largest subcategory, highways and streets, dropping 1.5% and 11%.
  • public educational spending declined 2.3% and 8.7%;
  • transportation facilities, -1.9% and -16%;
  • sewage and waste disposal, 4.2% and -10%; and water supply, -0.9% and -13%.
  • private residential spending fell 2.1% and 6.6%.
  • The largest subcategory currently is improvements to existing single- and multifamily structures, down 3.8% and 1.0%. New single-family slid 0.3% and 12%; new multifamily, -2.1% and -6.8%.
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