Construction spending increase outpaces cement shipment gains

Sources: U.S. Census Bureau; CP staff

The U.S. Census Bureau calculates the value of 2016 construction at $1.16 trillion, about 4.5 percent above the prior year’s $1.11 trillion total. The growth rate in spending eclipsed another principal metric: cement consumption, which Portland Cement Association pegged at 2.7 percent higher last year than in 2015. The variance reflects flat or lagging infrastructure project activity, where cement and concrete represent a higher slice of each dollar when compared to buildings. 

The Census Bureau reports these totals, by key construction sectors, for 2016 versus 2015: Private construction, $876.3 billion vs. $823.5 billion, +6.4 percent; residential, $456 billion vs. $434 billion, + 5.2 percent; and, nonresidential, $420 billion vs. $390 billion, +7.8 percent.