editorial

New Construction Starts in May Edge Up One Percent

At a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $651.2 billion, new construction starts in May increased a slight 1 percent from April, according to Dodge Data & Analytics. Public works construction bounced back 30 percent from its subdued April amount, helped by the May start of four large pipeline projects totaling a combined $3.0 billion. This enabled the nonbuilding construction sector (which also includes electric utilities and gas plants) to register a 23 percent gain in May, offsetting modest 4 percent declines for both nonresidential building and housing.

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April Construction Starts Retreat 13 Percent

By Mark S. Kuhar

The value of new construction starts in April dropped 13 percent from the previous month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $647.8 billion, according to Dodge Data & Analytics. The decline followed three straight months of gains, which saw total construction activity rising 20 percent from the lackluster amount reported back in December. Highway and bridge construction in April fell 10 percent.

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January Construction Starts Jump; Highways Down

The value of new construction starts in January climbed 12 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $690.2 billion, according to Dodge Data & Analytics. After losing momentum during last year’s fourth quarter, nonresidential building strengthened in January, with much of the lift coming from the start of the $3.4 billion Central Terminal Building at LaGuardia Airport in New York as well as groundbreaking for several other large airport terminal projects. However highway and bridge construction slipped 2 percent.

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March Construction Starts Climb 5 Percent

New construction starts in March increased 5 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $743.7 billion, marking the third straight monthly gain, according to Dodge Data & Analytics. The total construction growth in March was led by the nonbuilding construction sector, and particularly by public works, which featured the start of two large pipeline projects – the $4.2 billion Rover natural gas pipeline in Ohio and Michigan, and the $2.5 billion Mariner East 2 propane and natural gas liquids pipeline in Pennsylvania.

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New Construction Starts in December Slide 5 Percent

New construction starts in December slipped 5 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $613.0 billion, according to Dodge Data & Analytics. The latest month’s decline for total construction was due to sharply reduced activity for the nonbuilding construction sector, reflecting further erosion by public works as well as a steep plunge by the electric utility/gas plant category. At the same time, nonresidential building in December held steady with its November pace, and residential building was able to register moderate growth.

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