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US construction spending up again in August

U.S. construction spending increased by 0.1 percent from July to August and by 5.3 percent in the first eight months of 2018, a large trade group reported on Monday.

The Associated General Contractors of America reported that the increased spending was seen for most types of public and private construction.

“Nearly all categories of construction spending continued to expand through August,” said Ken Simonson, AGC chief economist. “Furthermore, growth is well-balanced among public, private, nonresidential and residential projects. But contractors are increasingly worried about a shortage of skilled workers.”

In the first eight months of this year, construction spending was 7 percent higher on public construction and 4.8 percent higher on private construction than in the same period a year ago. For private projects, spending increased by 6.5 percent on residential projects and by 2.7 percent on non-residential projects.

Comparing the same periods, the AGC found that spending on highway construction increased by 6.4 percent, on schools by 1 percent and on transportation by 15.9 percent. For private residential projects, spending increased by 7.9 percent on single-family projects and by 6.9 percent on existing buildings, although it decreased by 0.7 percent on multi-family projects. For private non-residential projects, spending on energy projects was up by 1.1 percent, on commercial projects by 4.6 percent, on office project by 6.5 percent and on manufacturing projects by 5.5 percent.

AGC officials said the increased spending is a sign that recent federal tax and regulatory reductions have been beneficial. They cautioned, though, that the gains could be undermined by the industry’s persistent labor shortages.

About Dan Shaw, dan.shaw@dailyreporter.com

Dan Shaw is the associate editor at The Daily Reporter. He can be reached at dan.shaw@dailyreporter.com or at 414-225-1807.

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