Social Media

Connect with us!
Connect with PM on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube

Construction Holds Steady in July and for Year to Date
But Nonresidential Private Building Continues Slide

September 6, 2002
/ Print / Reprints /
/ Text Size+
“A record amount of single-family homebuilding plus an uptick in public construction enabled overall construction to stabilize in July despite another drop in private nonresidential building,” said Kenneth D. Simonson, Chief Economist for Associated General Contractors of America (AGC), the nation’s leading construction trade association. Simonson was commenting on the Census Bureau’s release this morning of July data and revised June and May numbers on the value of construction put in place.

“The total value of construction put in place in July, $834 billion seasonally adjusted at annual rate, was level with the upwardly revised June figure and just 1.1% below the July 2001 number. The year-to-date total virtually matched the first seven months of 2001. Nevertheless, most construction other than single-family housing is still in a slump compared to its peak,” Simonson said. “While single-family housing was up by 0.4% for the month and by nearly 5% compared to last July, multi-unit housing has slipped 7% from its high in January. Private nonresidential building construction is off by 2% for the month, 10% for the past three months, and 20% for the past 12. Public construction has been almost flat since March but it is down 7.5% since peaking in February.

“It was heartening to see that year-to-date construction has stayed even with 2001,” Simonson added. “But I remain concerned about the rest of 2002. I think housing is likely to level off. Private nonresidential construction is unlikely to expand until the economy shows more robust and sustained growth, and public construction is facing further cuts as federal and state budget numbers keep getting more dismal.

“There are a few rays of sunshine in the clouds ahead,” Simonson noted. “Spiraling health-care spending by individuals, employers and governments will continue to mean more public and private construction for hospitals, clinics and doctors’ offices, manufacturing and research facilities for drugs and medical devices, and even drug stores. The Census Bureau’s totals for both private and state-local health care construction were up by 17% and 23% from July 2001 to July 2002, and I expect coming months’ figures to remain strong.

“The high level of new-vehicle sales should keep automotive commercial construction booming. That category was up 9% from July 2001 to July 2002. And home-related retail construction categories, such as landscaping, home-improvement and furniture stores, should outperform other types of retail in the next few months.”

(The Census report for July is at In addition, Census has posted more detailed data, classified by end user, at

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to Plumbing & Mechanical. 

Recent Articles by Ken Simonson

You must login or register in order to post a comment.



Image Galleries

BNP Media's Plumbing Group Visits Grundfos North American Headquarters

BNP Media’s Plumbing Group, comprised of the Plumbing & Mechanical, Supply House Times, PM Engineer (pme) and Reeves Journal brands, recently visited Grundfos’ new North American headquarters building in the western Chicago suburb of Downers Grove, Ill.


Plumbing and Mechanical

March 2014

2014 March

In the March issue of Plumbing & Mechanical, read about the 'living in place' movement and learn how to make your space stylish and comfortable. PM catches up with MCAA president Chuck Fell and spoke with him about his goals for the year. Also in this issue, see the top products of 2013, see who is the March Truck of the Month, and read the latest Tool Tips.
Table Of Contents Subscribe

Trade Associations

Are trade association memberships and participation beneficial to your company?
View Results Poll Archive

The Plumbing and Mechanical Store

2014 National Plumbing & HVAC Estimator

Every plumbing and HVAC estimator can use the cost estimates in this practical manual!

More Products

Clear Seas Research

Clear Seas ResearchWith access to over one million professionals and more than 60 industry-specific publications,Clear Seas Research offers relevant insights from those who know your industry best. Let us customize a market research solution that exceeds your marketing goals.

Truck of the Month

Truck of the month

Are you proud of how your service truck looks? Do the graphics give people whiplash as they drive by? Have your calls increased because people remember your truck — and your company name? If so, we’d like to see it, too! Click here to find out how your service truck could be chosen as PM's Truck of the Month.



Connect to PM on Facebook Connect to PM on Twitter  Watch PM on YouTube    Connect to PM on Linked In