Unusually cold weather did not keep construction spending from rising in January compared with year-ago levels, the Associated General Contractors of America said.
“Overall construction spending in the first two months of 2014 is nearly 9 percent higher than in the same period of 2013 even though public spending has continued to slip,” said Ken Simonson, the association's chief economist. “Several private nonresidential categories have rebounded impressively, while both home and apartment construction remain far ahead of year-ago levels.”
Construction put in place was worth $946 billion in February, 0.1 percent higher than January’s total, which was revised up $1.5 billion from initial estimates.
The large increase in private nonresidential construction stands in contrast with 2013, when private nonresidential spending dropped 0.4 percent for the year, Simonson said.
“There have been significant upturns since last year in the four biggest private nonresidential segments — power and energy; manufacturing; retail, warehouse and farm; and office,” he said. “I expect energy and manufacturing construction to be especially strong this year, along with hotel, rail and data center construction.”