editorial

Residential Building

Residential building in February grew 5 percent to $245.7 billion (annual rate), making a partial rebound after an 8 percent decline in January. Multifamily housing registered a strong February, jumping 46 percent. There were nine multifamily projects valued in excess of $100 million that reached groundbreaking in February, led by the following – the $500 million Flushing Commons apartment complex expansion in Queens, N.Y., a $300 million apartment high-rise in New York, and the $262 million condominium portion of the Four Seasons mixed-use tower in Boston.

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Nonresidential Building

Nonresidential building, at $224.9 billion (annual rate), surged 42 percent in February after a relatively weak performance in January. The manufacturing building category was a major contributor, soaring 663 percent in February with $3.0 billion for the estimated construction start cost of the Formosa ethane cracker and propane dehydrogenation plant in Point Comfort, Texas.

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February Construction Starts Jump 16 Percent

At a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $724.3 billion, new construction starts in February advanced 16 percent compared to the previous month, according to Dodge Data & Analytics. Much of the lift came from three massive projects valued each in excess of $1 billion that were included as February construction starts.

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Nonbuilding Construction

Nonbuilding construction in February increased 9 percent to $253.8 billion (annual rate), which followed its substantial 92 percent hike in January. The electric utility and gas plant category in February topped its heightened January amount by 17 percent, with the inclusion of the Sempra LNG export terminal in Hackberry, La., at an estimated construction start cost of $8.4 billion. (In January, two segments of an LNG export facility in Freeport, Texas, valued at $6.0 billion were included as construction starts.)

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Impact of Low Oil Prices

The falling cost of oil will not just impact consumers at the pump, but will lead to an impact on construction in the United States, according to Portland Cement Association Chief Economist and Group Vice President Edward J. Sullivan.

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