Construction spending rose slightly in April for the third month in a row as some sectors grew while others shrank, according to the Associated General Contractors of America.
Absent a major federal investment in infrastructure, it’s a trend that’s likely to continue, said Ken Simonson, the association's chief economist.
“Residential, private nonresidential and public construction spending all have areas of strength but also pockets of weakness,” Simonson said. “While the overall trend remains more positive than last year, growth is likely to be spotty for the foreseeable future.”
Construction put in place totaled $954 billion in April, 0.2 percent above the revised February numbers and 8.6 percent higher than in April 2013. The year-over-year growth in 2014 has exceeded the full-year 5 percent increase from 2012 to 2013, the AGC said.
“The outlook for the rest of 2014 remains uneven,” Simonson said. “Demand for apartments appears to be very strong, but there are several warning signs about homebuilding. Despite dropping last month, power and manufacturing construction should remain the leading private nonresidential categories, with hefty growth for the year as a whole. The rebound in public construction that occurred last month may not be repeated soon.”