Construction spending in July maintained consistent year-over-year growth despite a pullback from the June peak, according to an analysis of new federal data by the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC). Association officials said they expect the disparity between private and public construction to persist unless Washington acts to fix infrastructure funding challenges and pass long-delayed measures.
Power and energy construction fell for the fifth month in a row in July, by 1.4% compared with June, but the total still rose 21% from a year ago, thanks in part to oil and gas activity. Manufacturing construction, which shrank 2.1% for the month but was 17% higher than in July 2011, should resume growing in the coming months.
Public construction remains plagued by budget woes, especially for local governments and school districts. Street construction spending inched down 0.3% in July but was up 5.2% over 12 months, while educational construction spending decreased 0.6% and 5.0% respectively. Other public segments dipped 0.2% for the month and 0.8% year-over-year.