04 May 2009 16:55 [Source: ICIS news]
WASHINGTON (ICIS news)--?xml:namespace>
The March pace of non-residential construction spending - including both government and private sector building - also was 1.7% ahead of the same month in 2008, the department said in its monthly report.
Non-residential building activity includes construction of hotels, office space, hospitals and clinics, schools, highways and roads, sewage and water treatment facilities, among others.
Even as the
Some economists believe that a recovery in the non-residential construction market may presage a return of growth for the crucial single-family home building industry.
Both residential and non-residential construction are key downstream consuming sectors for a wide variety of chemicals, resins and derivatives.
The gain in non-residential construction in March also is noteworthy for being due almost wholly to a 2.9% improvement in private-sector spending on manufacturing facilities compared with February.
The $83.9bn spent on new or improved manufacturing plants also marked a 64.4% gain compared with March 2008 when the figure was $51bn.
To some, this suggests that manufacturers are gearing up for what they believe will be a general economic recovery in the not too distant future.
There were other but more modest gains in private spending on construction for lodging (up 5.3% from February), commercial properties (up 1.5%) and communications facilities (up 1.7%).
Government spending on non-residential construction - schools, roads, sewage and water treatment plants, etc. - increased in March by 1.2% to $301bn and was 2.5% ahead of March 2008.
Spending by government at all levels - national, state and local - was expected to increase further as the $787bn federal stimulus package, approved in mid-February - begins to filter through the nation's economy.
($1 = €0.75)
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