For the second month in a row, nationwide private nonresidential construction spending has fallen, down 1.2% in July, according to a U.S. Census Bureau report released Tuesday.

On a year-over-year basis, private nonresidential construction spending is down 8.4%. Total nonresidential construction spending, including private and public, fell to $703.8 billion, down 1% from June and 2.6% from July 2008.

“Even though the stimulus package is now beginning to meaningfully impact the residential construction sector, the broader economy remains weak and credit remains tight,” said Anirban Basu, chief economist for the Associated Builders and Contractors national trade organization.

“The implication is that construction segments only indirectly supported by the stimulus package will continue to experience strong headwinds, while segments directly supported with stimulus money will become substantially more active,” he said.

Three subsectors increased on a monthly basis:
Water supply construction, up 4%
Religious-related construction, up 1.4%
Manufacturing construction, up 1%

Subsectors up from July 2008:
Manufacturing construction, up 46.5%
Public safety-related construction, up 14.8%
Power construction, up 10%

Subsectors with the largest losses in spending from June 2009:
Lodging construction, down 8.3%
Commercial construction, down 1.8%
Power construction, down 1.8%

Subsectors posting the largest year-over-year declines:
Lodging construction, down 35.4%
Commercial construction, down 32.4%
Communication-related construction, down 20.1%

Meanwhile, residential construction spending increased 2.3% compared with June, but it is still down 26.9% from a year ago. Overall, total construction spending inched down 0.2% from June and is down 10.5% from July 2008.

Source: Associated Builders and Contractors