Construction Spending Increases
According to the Associated General Contractors of America, construction spending rebounded in February with private and public gains.
Construction put in place totaled $885 billion in February, up 1.2 percent from the downwardly revised January level. The February 2013 total was 7.9 percent higher than in February 2012. Private nonresidential spending rose 0.4 percent for the month and 6.1 percent year-over-year. Public construction spending increased 0.9 percent for the month.
The largest private nonresidential category, power construction—which includes oil and gas fields and pipelines as well as power plants, alternative energy and transmission lines—increased 0.7 percent for the month and 4.0 percent over 12 months. Manufacturing construction rose 0.3 percent and 9.9 percent, respectively. Private transportation construction slumped 2.4 percent in February but climbed 17 percent year-over-year. Warehouse construction soared 8.3 percent and 19 percent. New and remodeled private office construction rose 0.3 percent and 25 percent.
However, Association officials said federal infrastructure investment has been plunging even as several states have passed funding increases for projects. Federal investment in construction dropped 1.1 percent in February and 10 percent from a year ago, while state and local investment rose 1.1 percent for the month and was nearly level—down 0.5 percent—year-over-year. They urged the federal government to fund vitally needed investments in infrastructure projects.
“The nation has been underinvesting in infrastructure for years,” said Stephen E. Sandherr, the association’s chief executive officer. “With funding set through September, it is time for Washington to work on finding adequate funding in the next budget.”
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