2014 construction spending highest in 6 years

Construction spending increased to a record six-year high of $982 billion in December, rising for the first time since 2009, the Associated General Contractors of America said on Monday.

Construction spending for December was 0.4 percent higher than in November and 2.2 percent higher than the previous December.

“For the first time in nearly a decade, there was a growth in all three major construction segments – public, private nonresidential and residential,” Ken Simonson, chief economist for Associated General Contractors of America, said.

The most improved private infrastructures were warehouses and multifamily buildings, which jumped to 50 and 34 percent, respectively, Simonson said. Offices, manufacturing and power, which includes oil and gas pipelines, rose significantly as well.

As for public infrastructure, road improvements and repairs grew 4.1 percent, and education grew 1.2 percent.

Simonson also said spending on transportation facilities, such as airports and transit, grew 4.9 percent.

The association expects infrastructure funding plans in President Barack Obama's 2016 budget proposal will spark discussion on how to best finance the long overdue repairs needed to the most important public infrastructure, such as subways, roads and bridges.

“Congress should take advantage of this opportunity and work with the president to find the right funding solution,” Stephen E. Sandherr, the association’s chief executive officer, said.

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Associated General Contractors of America

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