Construction Starts Down 13 Percent in January
The value of new construction starts fell 13 percent in January to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $485 billion, following a healthy performance in December, according to a McGraw Hill Construction report. Nonresidential building in January dropped 6 percent to $157.3 billion, and was down 7 percent from last year’s average monthly pace. The institutional building sector in January decreased 12 percent, as the recent signs of stability after a lengthy five-year decline continue to be tenuous. Healthcare facilities in January dropped 17 percent, as this structure type continues to show an up-and-down pattern on a monthly basis, keeping sustained, renewed growth on hold, according to the report.
The January statistics lowered the Dodge Index to 103, compared to a revised 118 for December and below the average Index reading of 110 for all of 2013.
“The year 2014 began slowly, due to behavior specific to each of the three main construction sectors,” said Robert A. Murray, chief economist for McGraw Hill Construction, in the report. “At the same time, the prospects for continued growth for nonresidential building during 2014 are generally positive, helped by receding vacancies for commercial properties and some improvement in the fiscal health of state governments.”