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Industry spending on course to near $1.33 trillion in 2018

Construction spending is on course nationally to hit nearly $1.33 trillion this year.

That’s according to seasonally adjusted spending-rate figures reported on Thursday by the Associated General Contractors of America. In the first nine months of the year, spending on public projects was 7 percent higher than what it was in the same period last year; for private projects, it was 5.1 percent higher.

Within private projects, spending was up by 6.4 percent on residential projects and 3.5 percent on nonresidential projects. For residential projects, spending on single-family homes was up by 6.4 percent and on existing buildings by 7.1 percent. For nonresidential projects, it was up by 2.3 percent on energy projects, 4.8 percent on commercial projects, 7.4 percent on office projects and 3.4 percent on manufacturing projects.

Among public projects, spending was up by 5.8 percent on highway projects, 2 percent on school projects and 15.8 percent on transportation projects.

AGC officials warned that the industry could still be weighed down by the country’s new tariffs, rising interest rates and labor shortage. In general, though, the prospects look good at least for the rest of the year.

“Construction spending has increased among nearly every project type and geographic area this year,” said Ken Simonson, AGC chief economist. “Despite month-to-month fluctuations, the outlook remains positive for modest to moderate increases in most spending categories at least through the first part of 2019.”

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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