Nonresidential construction spending increased 1.6% on a monthly basis in October after declining 1.3% in September, according to the December 2 release by the U.S. Census Bureau. (This release contained two months of data because of the federal government shutdown.) On a year-over-year basis, nonresidential construction spending is down 0.7% through October. Spending totaled $575.563 billion for the month on a seasonally adjusted, annualized basis.

"As expected, construction spending was hindered by a combination of elevated uncertainty and delayed procurement resulting from the government shutdown," said Associated Builders and Contractors Chief Economist Anirban Basu. "The October data suggest nonresidential construction spending could regain a certain degree of momentum during the months ahead, though the long-anticipated acceleration in spending is unlikely to occur until after the first quarter of 2014."

Thirteen of 16 nonresidential construction subsectors posted increases in spending in October.

  • Public safety-related construction spending grew 5.6%, but has declined 1.2% on a year-over-year basis.
  • Amusement and recreation-related spending was up 1.8% on a monthly basis, but is 1% lower than the same time last year.
  • Conservation and development spending was up 6.7% for the month, but is down 7.2% for the year.
  • Lodging spending grew by 1.2% on a monthly basis and is up 17.5% on a year-over-year basis.
  • Religious spending grew 2.2% for the month, but is down 12.6% compared to the same time last year.
  • Education-related construction spending expanded 8.1% for the month, but is down 12.6% on a year-over-year basis.
  • Commercial construction spending increased 2.8% in October and is up 4.4% on a year-over-year basis.
  • Water supply spending edged up 1.1% for the month and is 14.3% higher than the same time last year.
  • Health care-related construction spending was up 1.8% for the month but is down 0.6% for the year.

Spending in the following three nonresidential construction subsectors was down in October.

  • Sewage and waste disposal-related construction spending declined 2.6% for the month, but has grown 4.5% on an annual basis.
  • Construction spending in the power category declined 3.7% on a monthly basis and is down 15.1% for the year.
  • Communication-related construction spending fell 8.2% for the month and is down 16.1% on a yearly basis.