Nonresidential construction spending fell 0.4% from July to August and is down 3% compared with August 2020, according to www.abc.org.
For public construction, spending increased 0.5% for the month and is down 4% year-to-date. Private nonresidential spending fell 1% from July to August and is down 2.3% year-to-date.
“Despite the many challenges they have faced, contractors continued to express confidence regarding near-term prospects until recently, per ABC’s Construction Confidence Index,” said Associated Builders and Contractors Chief Economist Anirban Basu. “For economists, who have been focused on phenomena such as the growing volatility of asset prices, rising freight costs, ongoing lockdowns in parts of the global economy and still-high infection rates in America, that expression of abundant confidence has been somewhat surprising. Today’s data release reminds us that challenges abound, with the trajectory of the nonresidential segment remaining on a downward trend that has now been in place for many months.
“A growing number of contractors indicate that the combination of increasingly expensive labor and rising materials prices are inducing more project owners to postpone work,” Basu continued. “This has manifested itself in a number of ways, including the inability of nonresidential construction spending to achieve growth and a recent decline in backlog, as measured by ABC’s Construction Backlog Indicator. As if this were not enough, a bipartisan infrastructure package that appeared set to pass is now jeopardized by jumbled political dynamics.”