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May Construction Starts Hold Steady


At a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $557.8 billion, new construction starts in May were essentially unchanged from April, according to McGraw-Hill

At a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $557.8 billion, new construction starts in May were essentially unchanged from April, according to McGraw-Hill Construction, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies. Nonresidential building in May registered a particularly strong performance, led by the start of several large manufacturing plants. At the same time, residential building continued to show a loss of momentum, and the nonbuilding construction sector (public works and electric utilities) retreated after April's elevated activity. During the first five months of 2008, total construction on an unadjusted basis was reported at $228.3 billion, down 14% from the same period a year ago. If residential building is excluded from the year-to-date comparison, new construction starts in the first five months of 2008 increased 7%. The May statistics produced a reading of 118 for the Dodge Index (2000=100), the same as April's revised level.