editorial

Nonresidential Building

Nonresidential building in May fell 28 percent to $208.1 billion (annual rate), pulling back after surging 58 percent in April. The manufacturing building category in April had provided a sizeable boost, rising 513 percent as the result of an $8.1 billion petrochemical plant in Louisiana being entered as a construction start.

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Year-to-Date

During the first five months of 2015, total construction starts on an unadjusted basis were reported at $272.5 billion, up 25 percent from the same period a year ago. The current year has included the start of 12 massive projects valued each at $1 billion or greater, compared to five such projects during the corresponding period of 2014. If these projects valued at $1 billion or greater are excluded, total construction starts on an unadjusted basis would be up a more moderate 10 percent year-to-date.

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New Construction Starts: Big Gains Year-to-Date

New construction starts in March retreated 13 percent from the previous month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $633.3 billion, according to Dodge Data & Analytics. The decline followed strong gains in January (up 9 percent) and February (up 17 percent), when construction was lifted by the start of several massive projects valued each in excess of $1 billion, including four liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal projects, a petrochemical plant, and a solar power facility.

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Non-Residential Building Makes Huge Gains

The value of new construction starts in April increased 10 percent from the previous month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $698.7 billion, according to Dodge Data & Analytics. The nonresidential building sector came in particularly strong, lifted by the inclusion of two massive projects as April starts – an $8.1 billion petrochemical plant in Louisiana and a $1.2 billion office/retail high-rise in New York.

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Nonresidential Building

Nonresidential building in March fell 19 percent to $183.5 billion (annual rate), after surging 43 percent in February. The manufacturing building category in March plunged a steep 57 percent from its elevated February pace. Although March did feature the start of several large manufacturing projects, such as a $751 million polyethylene plant and a $150 million cement plant expansion, both located in Texas, the prior month had included the start of a $3.0 billion ethane cracker and propane dehydrogenation plant, also located in Texas.

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