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Nonresidential Construction Spending Inches Higher in October, Up 20% Over the Past Year

Dec. 1, 2023
Private nonresidential spending increased 0.1% in October, while public nonresidential construction spending was up 0.2%.

WASHINGTON, DC — National nonresidential construction spending increased 0.1% in October, according to an Associated Builders and Contractors analysis of data published today by the U.S. Census Bureau. On a seasonally adjusted annualized basis, nonresidential spending totaled $1.1 trillion.

Spending was up on a monthly basis in 8 of the 16 nonresidential subcategories. Private nonresidential spending increased 0.1% in October, while public nonresidential construction spending was up 0.2%.

“Nonresidential construction spending increased for the 16th consecutive month in October and is now up an even 20% over the past year,” said ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basu. “As has been the case, more than 45% of that year-over-year increase is due to surging construction activity in the manufacturing sector, though infrastructure-related categories like highway and street and sewage and waste disposal have also outperformed.

“Spending in the commercial category, which includes construction of distribution and warehouse space, fell sharply in October,” said Basu. “This is likely due to a severe slowdown in the freight industry and slowing warehouse-related construction rather than a sudden decline in retail-related construction. Despite weakness in the commercial category and other headwinds like high interest rates and labor shortages, contractors remain optimistic about their sales over the next six months, according to ABC’s Construction Confidence Index.”

Visit abc.org/economics for the Construction Backlog Indicator and Construction Confidence Index, plus analysis of spending, employment, job openings and the Producer Price Index.

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