Demand for new factories in the U.S. is helping drive growth in construction spending that is cascading across industrial supply chains, says the Wall Street Journal. The expansion is reaching manufacturers of construction equipment, trucks and other industrial goods, and is providing a boost to the U.S. economy despite rising interest rates and slowdowns in other sectors.
The adjusted 0.3% rate of growth in construction spending in March 2023 included a 4.6% gain in manufacturing-related construction.
A backlog of orders and higher demand from new factories are boosting manufacturing companies like Caterpillar, which makes construction equipment, and driving demand for materials like steel and the trucks needed to transport big industrial shipments.
Production of commercial trucks is accelerating after parts shortages during the pandemic limited output. Kenworth and Peterbilt maker Paccar delivered 51,100 trucks during the first quarter, 19% more than last year, and projects similar deliveries this quarter.
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