November U.S. construction growth remains strong; spending slips

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Recent figures from the Associated General Contractors of America indicated there has been sustainable, strong, year-over-year growth rates for the U.S. construction industry.

Activity in November sustained steady growth for the industry, despite a slight decline in spending. The month showed a strong year-over-year growth rate for all of the main categories in the construction industry, including private residential, residential, public construction, lodging construction, manufacturing and multifamily.

Analysts and experts, however, said the latest spending data proves there is still ongoing insecurity in the private sector. The main concern is the demand for projects, which conflicts with budget limits from state and local government leaders.

“The November data show divergent (month-to-month) trends for residential, private nonresidential and public construction,” Ken Simonson, the association's chief economist, said. “Compared to October levels, spending dipped overall, but climbed for homebuilding, school and office construction. Previously fast-growing categories such as multifamily, manufacturing and lodging construction have stalled for the past two to four months, yet nearly every type of construction has outperformed its 2014 pace through the first 11 months of 2015.”

Industry leaders hope the growth continues throughout the upcoming year.

“The question we hope to answer is whether demand will continue to grow in 2016 given some of the headwinds our economy is currently facing,” Stephen Sandherr, the association’s CEO, said.

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