Nonresidential construction spending inched up in April according to the June 2 release by the U.S. Census Bureau. This is the second consecutive month spending has increased following March’s upwardly revised spending report. Nonresidential construction spending expanded by 0.4% on a monthly basis in April and has risen 3.9% on a year-over-year basis. Spending for the month totaled $570.6 billion on a seasonally adjusted, annualized basis.

“Unsurprisingly, nonresidential construction spending has improved with the weather,” said Associated Builders and Contractors Chief Economist Anirban Basu. “As a result of the unusually harsh winter weather, spending declines appeared large during the winter months and subsequent monthly gains have perhaps been a bit exaggerated as well. While the monthly numbers may be skewed, the year-over-year advance of 3.9% seems to realistically capture the rate of improvement in nonresidential construction spending.”

“The U.S. economy has recovered its momentum since the first quarter, suggesting that nonresidential construction’s steady recovery will remain in place,” said Basu. “Indeed, measures of business confidence have improved significantly and there are indications that capital spending is set to accelerate.”

Ten of 16 nonresidential construction subsectors posted increases in spending in April.

  • Lodging construction spending is up 1.9% on a monthly basis and is up 16.9% on a year-over-year basis.
  • Office-related construction spending grew by 1.7% in April and is up 20% from the same time one year ago.
  • Construction spending in the transportation category expanded 3.4% on a monthly basis and has expanded 8% on an annual basis.
  • Religious spending grew 1.8% for the month but is down 5.9% from the same time last year.
  • Education-related construction spending gained 2.7% for the month and is up 2.9% on a year-over-year basis.
  • Commercial construction spending rose 1.2% in April and is up 5.9% on a year-over-year basis.
  • Sewage and waste disposal-related construction spending gained 4% for the month but has fallen 5.5% from the same time last year.
  • Amusement and recreation-related construction spending expanded 4.4% on a monthly basis and is up 3.2% from the same time last year.
  • Health care-related construction spending grew 0.9% for the month, but is down 6.2% on a year-over-year basis.
  • Conservation and development-related construction spending expanded by 3.6% for the month and is up 19.7% on an annual basis.

Spending in six nonresidential construction subsectors declined in April.

  • Spending in the water supply category fell 0.2% on the month and is down 12.8% from the same time last year.
  • Manufacturing-related spending fell 1.1% on a monthly basis, but is up 6.7% on an annual basis.
  • Highway and street-related construction spending fell 1.1% in April, but is up 4.8% compared to the same time last year.
  • Communication construction spending was down 11.7% for the month but is up 21% from the same time one year ago.
  • Public safety-related construction spending fell 0.9% on a monthly basis and has declined 12.4% on a year-over-year basis.
  • Power construction spending dipped 1.2% for the month and was 1.6% lower than the same time one year prior.