ABC: U.S. nonresidential construction spending up 20% over the past year after 16th consecutive monthly rise

Associated Builders & Contractors (ABC) Chief Economist Anirban Basu has highlighted how America's nonresidential construction spending is up 20% over the year to the end of October 2023, after a 16th consecutive monthly rise.
December 5, 2023
By Guy Woodford
Anirban Basu, ABC Chief Economist. Pic: ABC

"As has been the case, more than 45% of that year-over-year increase is due to surging construction activity in the manufacturing sector, though infrastructure-related categories like highway and street and sewage and waste disposal have also outperformed," said Basu, citing ABC analysis of new U.S. Census Bureau data. 

ABC Spending Table
Nonresidential spending growth in the U.S, Source: U.S. Census Bureau


"Spending in the commercial category, which includes distribution and warehouse space construction, fell sharply in October," said Basu. "This is likely due to a severe slowdown in the freight industry and slowing warehouse-related construction rather than a sudden decline in retail-related construction. Despite weakness in the commercial category and other headwinds like high-interest rates and labour shortages, contractors remain optimistic about their sales over the next six months, according to ABC's Construction Confidence Index."


National nonresidential construction spending inched up 0.1% in October 2023. On a seasonally adjusted annualised basis, nonresidential spending totalled $1.1 trillion. Spending was up monthly in 8 of the 16 nonresidential subcategories. Private nonresidential spending increased 0.1% in October, while public nonresidential construction spending was up 0.2%.

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