US construction spending levels off in March

Written by Laura Miller

Construction spending in the US in March was basically steady from the previous month but showed notable year-on-year (y/y) growth.

The US Census Bureau reported March construction spending to be an estimated $2.084 trillion on a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR). While this was just 0.2% below February’s spending rate, it was 9.6% higher than spending in March 2023.

Residential construction spending, at $895.9 billion in March, was 0.7% lower month on month (m/m) but 4.5% higher y/y.

March spending on nonresidential construction projects was comparable to spending in February but jumped 13.7% from March 2023.

Within the nonres category, spending was highest on manufacturing construction. Spending in this subcategory rose 0.2% m/m to $223.4 billion in March. Spending on commercial building, meanwhile, declined for a fourth consecutive month to $129 billion.

Commenting on March’s data, the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) noted that “contractors continue to report robust backlogs and few cancellations, suggesting that the slowdown in spending may be due to a lack of workers, not slumping demand.”

Census figures show total construction spending has been rising notably in recent years (see Figure 1). Spending on residential projects has more or less leveled out over the past year after peaking in 2022. At the same time, spending on nonresidential projects has been surging in recent years.

Laura Miller

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