Total construction spending hit a four-year high in July as private residential and nonresidential activity increased while public spending declined, according to an analysis of new Census Bureau data by the Associated General Contractors of America. Association officials urged lawmakers in Washington to make infrastructure investment a top federal priority before funding runs out at the end of September.
“The patterns seen earlier this year reappeared in July, with strong year-over-year gains in single- and multifamily building, a range of results for private nonresidential categories, and deepening downturns in most public segments,” said Ken Simonson, the association's chief economist. “These trends are likely to hold for the remainder of 2013.”
Construction put in place in July, $901 billion, was the highest mark since June 2009, and an increase of 0.6% from the month before and 5.2% from July 2012. Totals for May and June were revised up, implying a stronger second quarter for the overall economy than the government reported last week.