U.S. nonresidential construction spending dropped in May
Hospitality-related construction projects most affected
Nonresidential construction spending in the U.S. dropped 0.9% during the month of May, the Associated Builders and Contractors announced Wednesday, according to U.S. Census Bureau data.
Spending totaled $812.5 billion for the month of May while private nonresidential spending dropped 2.4%.
“Certain aspects of today’s data release are precisely what was anticipated, while other elements are rather surprising,” ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basu said in a statement, adding that public nonresidential construction had increased 1.2%. “For instance, the precipitous 5.3% decline in health care-related construction spending is hardly shocking, as many elective surgeries, dental appointments and wellness checkups were postponed, resulting in billions of dollars of losses among medical systems. In addition, many medical systems have experienced large-scale layoffs in an effort to preserve cash balances.”
Construction related to the hospitality industry has still been down.
“A general lack of travel and occupancy has slowed hotel construction,” Basu said in a statement. “A shrunken global economy and disrupted worldwide supply chains have pummeled industrial construction. And the energy sector has taken a hit from commodity prices that remain significantly lower than pre-crisis levels, truncating demand for new construction.”
And although construction spending is down compared to what it was last year, the industry is faring better than others.
“In May, nonresidential construction spending declined by less than 1%, which represents a level of stability not enjoyed by much of the balance of the economy,” Basu said in a statement. “Spending in a number of categories, mostly public, was higher for the month, including highway/street, public safety, transportation and water supply. Moreover, certain construction segments may experience rapid recovery going forward, including health care, manufacturing and power.”