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Heavy Engineering (Non-Building) Construction Posts its Fourth Consecutive Gain in November

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Heavy engineering (non-building) construction spending rose 1.8% in November, the fourth month in a row spending rose. Year to date, heavy engineering spending is down a modest 0.3% compared to the same period in 2010. Spending on power construction surged 5.1% in November following a 3.1% increase in October. Power spending increased in eight of the last nine months and was up 14.2% year to date from the same period a year earlier.

Heavy engineering (non-building) construction spending rose 1.8% in November, the fourth month in a row spending rose. Year to date, heavy engineering spending is down a modest 0.3% compared to the same period in 2010. Spending on power construction surged 5.1% in November following a 3.1% increase in October. Power spending increased in eight of the last nine months and was up 14.2% year to date from the same period a year earlier.

The heavy engineering construction sector is projected to hold up well as the economy continues to improve, encouraging private sector investment. Environmental regulations will force both local governments and private industry to invest to meet these requirements. Public-private partnerships and improving revenues at the state level will provide some support for heavy engineering projects. The forecast is for heavy engineering projects construction spending to increase 6.4% in 2012 and 4.4% in 2013.

U.S. Heavy Engineering (Non-Building) Construction
(billions of U.S. current dollars)

  Monthly Figures*
(latest actual values)
3-Month
Moving Average
Actual Forecast
  Sep-11 Oct-11 Nov-11 Sep-11 Oct-11 Nov-11 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
Transportation 35.173 34.400 34.542 35.042 35.120 34.705 35.471 36.701 38.232 35.671 35.362 37.403
  Month-over-Month % Change -1.7% -2.2% 0.4% -0.7% 0.2% -1.2%            
  Year-over-year % Change (NSA) -10.5% -9.6% -6.3%       11.3% 3.5% 4.2% -6.7% -0.9% 5.8%
Communication 18.158 17.410 16.550 18.110 17.775 17.373 26.487 19.753 18.261 17.709 17.820 19.887
  2.3% -4.1% -4.9% -0.3% -1.9% -2.3%            
  1.6% -4.6% -11.5%       -4.0% -25.4% -7.6% -3.0% 0.6% 11.6%
Power 92.114 94.992 99.823 90.143 92.352 95.643 81.075 88.861 78.540 87.996 97.696 96.702
  2.4% 3.1% 5.1% 1.2% 2.4% 3.6%            
  17.0% 12.2% 6.5%       22.7% 9.6% -11.6% 12.0% 11.0% -1.0%
Highway 81.001 81.343 82.865 78.539 80.324 81.736 81.361 82.166 82.657 78.766 85.536 92.054
  3.0% 0.4% 1.9% 2.0% 2.3% 1.8%            
  -5.1% -5.1% -2.1%       6.1% 1.0% 0.6% -4.7% 8.6% 7.6%
Water and Sewer 36.967 37.169 37.234 37.065 37.122 37.123 42.448 40.301 41.368 37.302 38.106 40.590
  -0.7% 0.5% 0.2% 0.6% 0.2% 0.0%            
  -12.5% -12.6% -8.7%       4.4% -5.1% 2.6% -9.8% 2.2% 6.5%
Conservation & Development 6.559 6.732 5.950 6.771 6.778 6.414 5.234 5.750 6.937 6.964 6.742 6.865
  -6.9% 2.6% -11.6% -2.7% 0.1% -5.4%            
  -9.7% -7.0% -24.5%       -0.5% 9.9% 20.6% 0.4% -3.2% 1.8%
Total** 269.972 272.046 276.964 265.670 269.470 272.994 272.076 273.532 265.995 264.408 281.262 293.501
  1.3% 0.8% 1.8% 0.9% 1.4% 1.3%            
  -1.1% -1.6% -1.9%       9.7% 0.5% -2.8% -0.6% 6.4% 4.4%

* Monthly figures are seasonally adjusted at annual rates (SAAR figures).
** The total includes some miscellaneous buildings.
Source: Census Bureau, U.S. Department of Commerce. Forecast: Reed Construction Data.

by Bernie Markstein last update:Jan 30, 2012

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