Source: Associated General Contractors of America, Washington, D.C.
An AGC analysis of Census Bureau data finds construction project investments dropped 1 percent in July--to an annualized $805 billion--from a downwardly revised June total. Figures show depressed private work, plus stimulus-funded construction offset by state and local budget cuts.
While the stimulus is funding some vital infrastructure projects, the private sector is too cautious and state and local governments are too cash-strapped to help, says AGC Chief Economist Ken Simonson. Overall construction spending is at its lowest level in a decade, and hundreds of thousands of construction workers are unemployed. The July total was down 11 percent from the past 12 months and one-third lower than the high-water mark set in February 2006, he adds, noting that spending declines were observed in all 12 private nonresidential construction categories and 10 of the 14 public categories.