CBO: More Than Half of 2014 Infrastructure Spending Was for Maintenance, Operations

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Source: Jeff Yoders/MetalMiner

The federal government spent $96 billion on infrastructure projects, according to a Congressional Budget Office report released on Monday.

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The figure, which includes water projects, is dwarfed by a total of $320 billion that was spent on infrastructure by state and local governments, according to the report.

The CBO said 57% of the money that was spent by governmental agencies was used for operating expenses and maintenance of existing infrastructure, while 43% was spent on new construction.

The impact of the infrastructure spending was weakened by rising construction costs, according to the report. “Nominal public spending on that infrastructure increased by 44% between 2003 and 2014, but because prices of materials and other inputs rose more quickly than nominal spending, real (inflation-adjusted) public purchases decreased, falling by 9 percent from their peak in 2003 to their level in 2014,” the agency wrote.

“Nominal public spending on that infrastructure increased by 44 percent between 2003 and 2014, but because prices of materials and other inputs rose more quickly than nominal spending, real (inflation-adjusted) public purchases decreased, falling by 9% from their peak in 2003 to their level in 2014,” the agency wrote.

Rising construction costs also stunted the effectiveness of the federal dollars spent, the report says.

“Nominal public spending on that infrastructure increased by 44% between 2003 and 2014, but because prices of materials and other inputs rose more quickly than nominal spending, real (inflation-adjusted) public purchases decreased, falling by 9% from their peak in 2003 to their level in 2014,” the agency wrote.

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