Confidence still high as US non-residential construction dips in February

The US-based Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) released a report analysing data from the US Census Bureau, which found non-residential spending took a dip in 15 of 16 tracked subcategories from January to February, but year-over-year numbers remain elevated.

National non-residential construction spending declined 1% last month, said ABC. On a seasonally adjusted annualized basis, non-residential spending totalled US$1.18 trillion.

Private non-residential spending fell 0.9%, while public non-residential construction spending was down 1.2% in February.

“Virtually every non-residential construction segment experienced a decline in spending in February,” confirmed ABC chief economist Anirban Basu. “In certain instances, the monthly decline was sharp, including health care (-2.2%), commercial (-1.9%) and water supply (-1.8%).”

Basu noted it’s not concrete what the dip means for future activity.

“The optimist will likely shrug off both the January and February non-residential construction spending declines as merely reflecting winter weather,” he said. “The pessimist will proclaim this release a wake-up call to contractors and an indication that higher interest rates have finally begun to make their mark.”

Basu noted that while the majority of segments are seeing monthly decreases in spending, all segments have experienced year-over-year growth in spending.

“In 10 instances, construction spending has increased more than 10%, including 36% growth in the public safety category and 32% in manufacturing,” he said. “Moreover, ABC’s Construction Confidence Index indicates that contractors remain confident with respect to their sales over the next six months, signalling that the data could improve with the weather.”

MAGAZINE
NEWSLETTER
Delivered directly to your inbox, Scaffold & Access Newsletter features the pick of the breaking news stories, product launches, show reports and more from KHL's world-class editorial team.
Latest Events
How technology is revolutionizing MEWP training
Industry expert to provide in-depth look at how MEWP training is delivered at Working at Height Conference
Speaker announcement: TJ Lyons on MEWP safety at Working at Height conference
TJ Lyons to present on the philosophy of accident prevention at November event
First speakers announced for Working at Height Conference
John McClelland, TJ Lyons, Scott Owyen, Bart Krzysztofek and more come on board for Nov. 20 access and rental conference
Off-Highway Research

The gold standard in market research

Off-Highway Research offers a library of more than 200 regularly updated reports, providing forensic detail on key aspects of the construction equipment industry.

Our detailed insights and expert analyses are used by over 500 of the world’s largest and most successful suppliers, manufacturers and distributers, to inform their strategic plans and deliver profitable growth.

Click here to visit our website