Construction spending hit a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1.329 trillion and grew 5.5 percent for nine months of 2018 combined, with continued year-to-date gains for major public and private categories, according to an analysis of new government data by the Associated General Contractors of America. Association officials said that while demand for construction should remain strong for the next several months, the construction sector could be impacted by new trade tariffs, continues workforce shortages and higher interest rates.
“Construction spending has increased among nearly every project type and geographic area this year,” said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist. “Despite month-to-month fluctuations, the outlook remains positive for modest to moderate increases in most spending categories at least through the first part of 2019. However, damaging trade policies, labor shortages and rising interest rates pose growing challenges to contractors and their clients.”
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