Private construction spending up in most states says AGCA economist

In Portland, Maine Thursday, the chief economist for the Associated General Contractors of America said private spending on construction projects has increased in most states.

As the Morning Sentinel reports, Kenneth Simonson, who addressed a group of contractors Thursday, said most developers are busy building apartment complexes due to low vacancy rates and high demand for residences close to cities, workplaces and services. Meanwhile, construction of single-family homes has stagnated, he said.

The paper reports that most private investments are focused on “energy projects, port-related infrastructure, warehouses, hospitals and some manufacturing facilities.”

But it’s not all good news, according to Simonson. 

The increase in private spending is due to the big cuts that federal, state and local governments have all made in construction spending as stimulus dollars dry up, he said.

Simonson said state and local governments have cut back on public projects spending, such as roads, bridges and schools. And in the current federal budget, construction appropriations are down $7 billion, 6 percent from last year’s total.