Private nonresidential construction spending increased 0.9% in February, according to the April 1 report by the U.S. Census Bureau. However, despite February’s monthly performance, private nonresidential construction spending is down 13.2% from the same time last year. Total nonresidential construction spending — which includes both privately and publicly financed construction — stood at $523.2 billion in February, down 0.2% for the month and down 6.3% from February 2010.

Six of the 16 nonresidential construction sectors posted gains in spending on a monthly basis in February, including conservation and development, up 11.3%; manufacturing, up 5.4%; and power, up 2.5%. Five subsectors posted increases from the same time last year, including conservation and development, up 32.4%; highway and street, up 10.6%; and water supply construction, up 6.8%.

Those nonresidential construction sectors posting decreases for the month include water supply, down 5.9%; religious-related, down 3.8%; and educational construction, down 3.4%. The sectors with the largest year-over-year decreases include lodging, down 42%; manufacturing, down 30.1%; and office construction, down 19.9%.

Public nonresidential construction spending slipped 1.1%for the month but is up 0.4% from one year ago. Residential construction spending fell 3.8% in February and 7.8% compared to the same time last year. Overall, total construction spending was down 1.4% in February and down 6.8% from February of last year.

Source: The Associated Builders and Contractors