New Construction Starts Up 5 Percent in December
New construction starts in December grew 5 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $554.5 billion, according to a McGraw Hill Construction Jan. 23 release. For the year, total construction starts advanced 6 percent to $516.8 billion. The December statistics produced a reading of 117 for the Dodge Index, compared to 111 in November.
Nonresidential building in December slipped 7 percent to $168.6 billion, pulling back for the second month in a row after its elevated pace in October. However, the sector's fourth quarter average was still 17 percent above what was reported in the first quarter, according to the release.
“The construction industry in 2013 made progress towards establishing a more broad-based recovery, after several years in which the upturn was more limited in scope,” said Robert A. Murray, chief economist for McGraw Hill Construction, in the release.