National – Total construction spending increased in November compared to levels in October and a year earlier, as gains in private residential and nonresidential projects outweighed decreases in public outlays, according to a new analysis of federal construction spending data the Associated General Contractors of America recently released.
Construction spending in November totaled $1.63 trillion at a seasonally adjusted annual rate, 0.4% above the October rate and 9.3% higher than in November 2020. Year-to-date spending in the first 11 months of 2021 combined increased 7.9% from the total for January-November 2020.
Private construction spending rose 0.6% in November from the October total and 12.5% from November 2020. In contrast, public construction spending slipped 0.2% for the month and 0.9% year-over-year.
There were gains in both residential and nonresidential private construction. Spending on new single- and multifamily residential projects, along with additions and renovations to existing houses, increased 0.9% for the month and 16.3% from a year earlier. Private nonresidential spending edged up 0.1% from October and 6.7% from November 2020. The largest private nonresidential segment, power construction, rose 0.1% for the month and 7.5% year-over-year. Among other large segments, commercial construction–comprising warehouse, retail, and farm structures–dipped 0.1% in November but jumped 15.1% year-over-year. Manufacturing construction increased for the 11th month in a row, by 0.9%, putting the total 22.4% above the year-earlier level.
The largest public categories posted mixed results. Highway and street construction slid 0.8% from October but rose 0.2% compared to November 2020. Educational construction climbed 0.3 percent for the month but declined 6.3% year-over-year. Transportation spending fell 0.5% in November but rose 0.7% from the year-earlier total.