editorial

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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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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Severe Weather Knocks Housing Starts Down

Nationwide housing starts fell 2 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.065 million units in January, according to newly released data from the U.S. Commerce Department. This drop was mainly due to a 22.2 percent decrease in the Midwest.

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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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