Construction spending was unchanged in November 2021

January 6, 2022

Nonresidential construction spending was unchanged from October 2021 to November 2021 and is up 3.4% compared with November 2020, according to www.abc.org.

For public construction, spending decreased 0.1% for the month and is down 0.8% year-to-date. Private nonresidential spending rose 0.1% from October 2021 to November 2021 and is up 6.7% year-to-date.

Associated Builders and Contractors Chief Economist Anirban Basu said supply chain issues and labor shortages still are affecting the industry.

“If no news is good news, then this was a fine report,” Basu said. “There is little in the data for November 2021 that was earth-shattering. It is interesting to note, however, that the streak of meaningful monthly increases in nonresidential construction spending effectively ended in November, strongly suggesting that supply chain issues and worker shortages continue to constrain the pace of recovery in nonresidential construction (the same issues that continue to suppress contractor margins, according to ABC’s Construction Confidence Index).

“While the monthly data is overall not jarring, the year-over-year numbers are more noteworthy,” Basu continued. “After declining during much of the pandemic, spending in the office segment has stabilized and is up 3.3% from a year ago. That may reflect data center construction spending more than traditional office space construction, however.”

Basu said the largest year-over-year decline is in the public safety sector.

“During the pandemic’s early stages, spending in this category grew rapidly as America prepared for a public health crisis,” Basu said. “That dynamic reversed itself in 2021. The other category suffering a major decline in construction spending over the past year is lodging.”

Tags: Commercial | Trends

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