August 16, 2017

Marcum Commercial Construction Index Reports 2nd Quarter Spending Increase in Commercial and Office Construction

Featured Joseph Natarelli, National Construction Industry Group Leader
Anirban Basu, Chief Construction Economist

Marcum Commercial Construction Index Reports 2nd Quarter Spending Increase in Commercial and Office Construction

New York City, NY – Commercial construction spending in the second quarter of 2017 increased 13 percent from the same period last year and office construction rose 11 percent, according to the latest Marcum Commercial Construction Index. However, these bright spots contrast with a decline of 3.1 percent in overall nonresidential construction spending in June year-over-year and a monthly drop of 2.0 percent from May 2017. The index is produced by the Construction Services Group of Marcum LLP, a national accounting and advisory firm.

Anirban Basu, the report’s author, attributes the relative strength of the commercial and office subsectors to the ecommerce boom. He also notes that June spending in communication construction increased 4.9 percent year-over-year and 2.8 percent from May 2017. The only other subsector to record a gain was health care, with a 2.8 percent annualized improvement, although monthly results in the sector declined 0.2 percent in June.

“With interest rates remaining near rock-bottom levels, investors have been chased up the risk spectrum, including into commercial real estate. That has helped to raise property values and prompt new construction. These dynamics have also helped lift industry backlog and supported reasonably solid profit margins,” Mr. Basu wrote.

Spending in all 12 of the remaining nonresidential construction subsectors retreated on both an annualized and monthly basis. The largest declines came in public sector spending, including conservation and development (-20.6% and -7.3%, respectively), sewage and waste disposal (-16.8% and -2.4%), and water supply (-16.4% and -3.7%).

“The infrastructure boom we have been waiting for has not arrived as of yet. Business attitudes and the business environment and confidence remain high for the moment. Backlogs in the private sector are healthy. Investment is robust. It’s my hope that we can turn some of this momentum towards infrastructure, sooner rather than later,” said Joseph Natarelli, national leader of Marcum’s Construction Services Group and an office managing partner in New Haven, Connecticut.

Current economic trends in the construction industry will be discussed in depth at the upcoming annual Marcum Construction Summits in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, on September 7; New Haven, Conn., on September 27; and New York City on October 23. Mr. Basu will keynote all three conferences, which are presented in partnership with the construction industry’s leading trade organizations and industry publisher. For registration and information, visit

One of the leading construction accounting firms in the U.S., Marcum LLP’s Construction group provides audit, consulting, and taxation services to clients ranging from start-ups to multi-billion-dollar enterprises. The group’s professionals, among the country’s foremost experts in construction accounting, are frequent industry authors and speakers and also serve as technical reviewers for the AICPA’s construction audit and taxation guides. In addition to the quarterly Marcum Commercial Construction Index, the group publishes the annual Marcum JOLTS Analysis, a discussion of employment trends in the construction industry.

About Marcum LLP
Marcum LLP is a top-ranked national accounting and advisory firm dedicated to helping entrepreneurial, middle-market companies and high net worth individuals achieve their goals. Marcum’s industry-focused practices offer deep insight and specialized services to privately held and publicly registered companies, and nonprofit and social sector organizations. The Firm also provides a full complement of technology, wealth management, and executive search and staffing services. Headquartered in New York City, Marcum has offices in major business markets across the U.S. and select international locations. #AskMarcum.


Joseph  Natarelli

Joseph Natarelli

Construction Services Leader

  • Assurance
  • New Haven, CT