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Feb. construction spending up from last year

Construction spending nationwide in February increased 2.1 percent from February 2014, but dropped slightly — 0.1 percent — from January, according to the Associated General Contractors of America.

AGC officials said spending in February was held back by declining demand for single-family homes and declining public sector investment levels. Private residential spending in February dropped 0.2 percent from January and 2.1 percent percent from February last year, whereas private nonresidential spending increased 0.5 percent in February from January and 5.9 percent from February 2014.

“Similarly mixed results are likely to recur throughout 2015 as the economy continues to grow, but potential homebuyers remain hesitant and governments face difficult trade-offs on spending priorities,” said Ken Simonson, the AGC’s chief economist, in a statement.

He also pointed out that comparing the first two months of the year with the first two months of last year paints a more realistic picture because month-to-month comparisons can be distorted during the winter months due to inclement weather conditions.

Private spending for both multifamily construction and manufacturing construction increased 30 percent between the first two months of 2014 and the first two months of 2015, according to Simonson. Spending for private office construction increased 19 percent during that time, and spending for single-family housing increased 11 percent.

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