Economy Watch: Construction Spending Up in Most States

An increase in construction activity adds to the income and potential growth of each state, noted Markstein Advisors' Bernard Markstein, who prepared the latest Associated Builders and Contractors report.

Source: Associated Builders and Contractors, November 2017
Source: Associated Builders and Contractors, November 2017

The private construction industry’s value as a percentage of the nation’s real gross domestic product rose to 4 percent in 2016, the highest level since 2009, according to the trade group Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC). The organization’s report, which was released Nov. 21, also shows that annual growth in real construction spending rose 3.5 percent in 2016 from the year before. 

The 3.5 percent national increase in spending was, however, a slowdown from the 4.9 percent annual increase in 2015. Moreover, only 18 states saw greater growth in real construction spending in 2016 compared to 2015.

Still, 37 states benefited from the rise in construction activity in their state during 2016, while 13 states experienced a drop in activity. Construction spending in Idaho increased the most, up 10.7 percent year-over-year. Georgia and South Carolina were next, up 9.4 percent, while Florida was up 9.3 percent.

“The increase in that activity in a particular year adds to the income and potential growth of each state. A decline in that activity acts as a drag on a state’s economic performance,” said Bernard M. Markstein, president & chief economist of Markstein Advisors, who conducted the analysis and prepared the report for ABC.