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The Associated General Contractors of America urged Congress and the Trump administration to include new spending as part of the tax reform proposal to reverse declining infrastructure investment. New investments will offset declining public sector demand and help boost overall economic activity, said AGC.

"It is hard for American employers to be globally competitive when their workers are stuck in traffic and their products are being detoured around crumbling bridges," said AGC CEO Stephen E. Sandherr.

Most major construction spending categories increased from July to August, but activity was mixed compared to spending levels a year earlier, according to an analysis of new government data by the AGC. Association officials noted that big drops in public investments mean infrastructure will continue to deteriorate and impede economic growth.

CPIP Data: Construction Growth Slows

Tuesday, 03 October 2017 17:24

Total construction expenditures contracted in the three months through August year over year for the first time since November 2011, according to August data for construction put in place (CPIP) released by the Department of Commerce on Monday. Privately funded projects still have positive growth on a rolling 12-month basis, but are more than negated by contraction in state, local and federal projects. All three sectors have negative momentum. Construction is extremely seasonal; the growth or contraction we report in this analysis has had seasonality removed by providing only year-over-year comparisons.


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July 2017 At-a-Glance

Tuesday, 01 August 2017 12:02

As a monthly average, prices on all flat rolled steel products recovered in July following a dip in June. The month of July ended with SMU’s Price Momentum Indicator continuing to point higher as the market waits to see if and when the Trump administration will act on Section 232 trade measures that could further restrict steel imports. Meanwhile, earlier in the month, leading domestic mills announced $25 per ton price hikes on flat rolled products. President Trump has indicated he may put possible steel tariffs or quotas on the back burner while he turns his attention to other big issues, such as infrastructure and tax reform. If at any point it becomes clear the administration does not intend to act on Section 232, price momentum could shift downward as the flow of imports resumes.


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Construction spending is suffering from a decrease in public investment said Ken Simonson, chief economist at the Associated General Contractors of America.

"Construction spending is still increasing overall but growth has become much more uneven across categories in recent months," said Simonson. "There has been a steep decline in public investment in nearly all types of construction over the past year. Private nonresidential construction is still rising overall but generally at slower rates than was occurring a few months ago."

Construction spending remained steady in May, reports The Associated General Contractors of America, but the sector continues to be held back by a shortage of skilled labor and political gridlock on infrastructure spending.

Construction Spending Retreats in April

Thursday, 01 June 2017 12:30

The Associated General Contractors of America report construction spending declined in April after growing in February and March. Most gains this year have been in private construction categories while spending for public projects has slumped, says AGC’s chief economist. The press release from AGC follows.

Public-Sector Investments in Construction Tumbled Compared to the First Four Months of 2016 Even as Private-Sector Construction Demand Increased During the Same Time-Frame

Construction spending retreated in April following unusually large gains in and February and March, according to an analysis of new government data by the Associated General Contractors of America. Association officials said private construction continues to do well so far in 2017 but under-investment in public infrastructure is holding back the industry and is jeopardizing long-run economic growth.

The Associated General Contractors of America report that construction spending is at record levels, gaining 4.9 percent in the first quarter of 2017. The press release from AGC follows:

Private-Sector Outlays Are Steady for the Month While Public Sector Investments in Infrastructure, Other Construction Slips 0.9 Percent As the Industry Awaits Details of President Trump's New Infrastructure Plan

Construction spending is at record levels for the second straight month in March and is up 4.9 percent for the first three months of year compared to the same period in 2016, despite dipping slightly compared to February, according to an analysis by the Associated General Contractors of America. Association officials said many firms are eager to see details of the President's pending infrastructure plan, which should boost construction demand.

Architecture Billings Index Soars to 54.3

Wednesday, 19 April 2017 16:43

Washington, D.C. – April 19, 2017 – The first quarter of the year ended on a positive note for the Architecture Billings Index (ABI).  As a leading economic indicator of construction activity, the ABI reflects the approximate nine to twelve month lead time between architecture billings and construction spending. The American Institute of Architects (AIA) reported the March ABI score was 54.3, up from a score of 50.7 in the previous month. This score reflects a sizable increase in design services (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings). The new projects inquiry index was 59.8, down from a reading of 61.5 the previous month, while the new design contracts index dipped from 54.7 to 52.3.


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The Associated General Contractors of America report private residential and public sector investments offset declines in nonresidential spending in February. AGC says high tax rates and uncertainty about infrastructure projects is holding back demand in the private nonresidential sector. The press release from AGC follows:

The Associated of General Contractors of America released their latest analysis of construction spending noting that the total amount slipped in January as a drop in public infrastructure spending offset increases in private construction outlay.  AGC applauds the Administration's proposal for including both public infrastructure funding and private financing.  The press release from AGC follows:

Construction Association Officials Urge Congress to Enact Trillion Dollar Infrastructure Measure Being Championed by President Trump, Noting New Public Investments will Help Boost Industry, Broader Economic Growth

Construction spending slipped from December to January but increased modestly from a year ago, as private construction grew solidly but public infrastructure outlays tumbled, according to an analysis by the Associated General Contractors of America. Association officials said the January data indicates the need for new public investments in infrastructure along the lines of the trillion dollar proposal President Trump outlined during his Congressional address last night.

"These numbers suggest that demand for residential and private nonresidential structures remain strong but all levels of government are struggling to fund needed projects," said Ken Simonson, the association's chief economist. "It appears that homebuilding, office and power construction will continue to grow through 2017, while manufacturing, highway and other transportation construction are likely to hold down overall growth."

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Construction spending in January totaled $1.180 trillion at a seasonally adjusted annual rate, Simonson said. He added that the January rate was down 1.0 percent from the month before but up 3.1 percent from the January 2016 level.

Private residential construction spending increased by 0.5 percent between December and January and rose 5.9 percent over the past 12 months. Spending on multifamily residential construction jumped 2.2 percent for the month and 9.0 percent year-over-year, while single-family spending climbed 1.1 percent for the month and 2.3 percent from a year earlier.

Private nonresidential construction spending was flat for the month and increased 8.9 percent year-over-year. The largest private nonresidential segment in January was power construction (including oil and gas pipelines), which gained 1.4 percent for the month and 5.8 percent over 12 months. The next-largest segment, commercial (retail, warehouse and farm) construction, declined 0.5 percent in January but rose 12 percent year-over-year. Manufacturing construction rose 0.6 percent for the month but fell 6.8 percent from a year before. Private office construction spending dipped 0.5 percent for the month and but gained 34 percent compared with January 2016.

Public construction spending plunged by 5.0 percent from December to January and 9.0 percent from the January 2016 rate. Infrastructure categories were especially hard hit. Highway construction shrank 3.3 percent for the month and 10 percent year-over-year. Other transportation segments (transit, passenger rail, airports and ports) tumbled 8.1 percent for the month and 12 percent relative to January 2016. Sewage and waste construction plummeted by 4.2 percent and 27 percent, respectively. Water supply spending declined 12 percent and 11 percent, respectively.

Association officials said the President's call for new legislation to provide $1 trillion in investments to rebuild aging infrastructure would help boost demand for construction and support broader economic growth. They added that the President was right to insist that public funding must play a vital role in rebuilding the country's over-taxed public works.

"As a group that has long advocated for a mix of new private and public sector investments to finance civil works projects, we were encouraged to hear the President make it clear that any new federal plan must include public investments as well as new private financing opportunities," said Stephen E. Sandherr, the association's CEO. "We are committed to working with Congress and the administration to ensure the President's bold infrastructure vision becomes legislative reality."

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