Nonresidential construction spending fell 0.6% from August to September and is down 1.3% compared with September 2020, according to www.abc.org.
For public construction, spending decreased 0.6% for the month and is down 2.4% year-to-date. Private nonresidential spending fell 0.6% from August to September and is down 0.5% year-to-date.
Associated Builders and Contractors Chief Economist Anirban Basu said the decline is not surprising as nonresidential construction spending generally has been trending lower for several months because of the COVID-19 pandemic and ongoing global supply chain issues. And there are additional factors regarding the decline.
“Many observers thought America would have passed a meaningful infrastructure package by now,” Basu said. “That has not yet happened, and many state transportation agencies, along with their local counterparts, note that planning for projects has become extraordinarily challenging in the context of uncertain federal funding.
“Finally, to the extent projects are moving forward, construction skills shortages are slowing the pace of construction delivery,” Basu continued. “Were an infrastructure package to pass, it is unclear how projects would be sufficiently staffed given a higher rate of retirement among construction workers and a lack of entry into the skilled trades. These factors have continued in recent weeks, suggesting that nonresidential construction spending may remain somewhat soft during the months ahead.”