Nonresidential Building

Nonresidential building, at $190.6 billion (annual rate), retreated 8 percent in June, as weaker activity was reported for the majority of the structure types. The commercial building group fell 13 percent following its 17 percent increase in May. Both stores and warehouses weakened in June, dropping 9 percent and 53 percent respectively, while hotel construction slipped 11 percent from its heightened May amount.

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Nonbuilding Construction

Nonbuilding construction in June plunged 38 percent to $162.5 billion (annual rate). The electric utility and gas plant category fell 80 percent, after surging 229 percent in May with the start of a $9.0 billion LNG export terminal in Corpus Christi, Texas, as well as three large power plants valued each in excess of $500 million.

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Residential Building

Residential building in June grew 2 percent to $267.1 billion (annual rate), after slipping 2 percent in May. Multifamily housing provided the upward push, rising 8 percent, showing further growth on top of the gains reported earlier in the year.

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Construction Starts Hot in First-Half of Year

New construction starts in June dropped 15 percent from the previous month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $620.2 billion, according to Dodge Data & Analytics. The decline followed an especially strong May, which benefitted from a $9.0 billion liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminal in Texas being entered as a May start.

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Six-Month Update

The 23 percent gain for total construction starts in the first half of 2015 came from a varied pattern by geography. The strongest year-to-date gain was reported in the South Central region, up 57 percent, which reflected the boost coming from the massive gas terminal projects that were entered as construction starts plus several large petrochemical plants.

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