'06 Construction 'Strong'
According to the Associated General Contractors of America, construction spending is hitting on all cylinders with "strong, balanced growth."
Reacting to a Census Bureau report that construction spending in February was at a record seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1.19 trillion—up 0.8% from January and 7.4% from February 2005—Ken Simonson, AGC chief economist, noted that not only was the overall total up significantly from a year ago, but all major segments showed similar growth. "For the first time since the 2001 recession, private nonresidential construction led the parade with a 9.6% increase from a year ago. Private residential construction was 7.1% higher, and public construction, 6% higher," he said.
On the flip side, Simonson said the biggest worries right now are materials costs and availability. In particular, he fears cement shortages this spring.
For AGC's Construction Inflation Alert and more detailed information on the Mexican cement agreement, visit www.agc.org/economics .