After years of recession-related downturn, construction in the United States is looking healthier than it has in a long while.
Spending on projects reached its highest level in nearly five years in November, following a strong performance in both the residential and non-residential sectors. The latter, which includes factories and gas pipelines, saw an 11 month peak, while the former has found a level that it hasn't seen since June 2008.
While public outlay actually dropped, as federal, state and local projects declined, gains in the private sector were more than enough to make up for that 1.8 percent dip. Overall, contracting did even better than economists predicted: a Reuters poll suggested that gains for the month of November would be a relatively modest 0.6 percent, but the actual total rise was 1 percent. This comes on the heels of a better-than-expected October, whose numbers were revised to show an 0.9 percent jump instead of the reported 0.8 percent.
In dollar terms, the annual spending rate is now at $934.4 billion, an expenditure that hasn't been seen since March 2009, according to the Commerce Department. For the eighth straight month, there was good news in terms of construction spending.
In addition, this boost to the construction industry will spell positive returns for businesses that offer a number of related services, such as shipping, lumber and Nevada contractor insurance. These increases are supported by the economy as a whole: not only do businesses feel confident about their job prospects, consumers do as well. The result is a citizenry that is more willing to spend money and an economy that saw a brisk 4.1 percent annual rate in the third quarter of 2013.
All in all, things are looking positive for contractors in the United States.