US construction highest since December 2009

US construction for the 12 months to the end of May 2012 totalled USD 830 billion – the highest since December 2009. The figure was also up +7.0% compared to a year ago and was a +0.9% increase on April 2012.

The value of US construction for the 12 months to the end of May 2012 totalled USD 830 billion – the highest since December 2009. The figure was also up +7.0% compared to a year ago and was a +0.9% increase on April 2012.
The gains compared to 2011 were slightly higher in the non-residential segment, which increased +7.4%. However, a +2.9% rise in residential activity from April saw this sub-sector go up +6.2% in May compared to the position in May 2011.
Publicly funded construction dropped -3.9% compared to last year to USD 269 billion, with the most significant decrease regarding the residential sector. In contrast, privately funded construction increased +13.1% year-on-year, thanks particularly to surges in multi-family residential building, lodging, educational, manufacturing and power infrastructure construction. The private non-residential sector, at almost USD 300 billion, was up +18.6% from a year ago.
Ken Simonson, chief economist at the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) said, commenting on the figures, “It is encouraging to see such broad-based pick-up in private construction. Based on the number and variety of projects that have been announced in recent months, I expect the private non-residential sector to keep posting hefty gains for the rest of 2012 and beyond. Apartment construction seems sure to remain strong as well. Single-family home building is not as solid, but has apparently passed its low point.”
Forecasting company IHS Global Insight also noted the strength of the private sector, but added that Public construction was at its lowest for the past six years.