ConDig (26-Jul-19). US construction starts booked a 9% gain in June after a surge in nonresidential building, according to latest figures from Dodge Data & Analytics.
The rise boosted starts to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $832.7 billion in June compared with $757.0 billion the month prior and also 10% up on May’s total.
It follows a 16% jump in nonresidential building to $308.3 billion, which reflected the start of the $1.1 billion expansion to Terminal 5 at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, as well as sharp gains for office buildings, public buildings such as detention facilities and courthouses, healthcare facilities and warehouses.
The other two major sectors that posted moderate growth in June were nonbuilding construction that was up 6% to $206.2 billion and residential building was 5% higher to $318.2 billion.
But on a twelve-month moving total basis, total construction starts for the twelve months ending June this year were 4% down on the same period last year.
“On balance, the pace of construction starts has been sluggish so far in 2019, as activity has been generally lower than the healthy amount reported during the first half of 2018,” said Robert A. Murray, chief economist for Dodge Data & Analytics.
“The improved activity during May and June suggests that the gap relative to last year should narrow in coming months.”
He added that nonresidential and the commercial and institutional building segments have stayed close to their 2018 amounts, but manufacturing plant construction has not seen the same number of very large projects that were reported last year.