Construction Starts Step Back in September

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Total construction starts dipped 18% in September to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $667.7 billion, essentially taking back August’s gain, according to Dodge Data & Analytics. While some of this decline is certainly payback from several large projects entering start in August, the drop in activity brought total construction starts below levels seen in June and July. Nonresidential starts fell…

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Construction Spending Rises in August; Highway Construction Ticks Up

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Construction spending during August 2020 was estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1,412.8 billion, 1.4% (±1.0%) above the revised July estimate of $1,392.7 billion. The August figure is 2.5% (±1.5%) above the August 2019 estimate of $1,379.0 billion.

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Construction Starts Post Solid Gain in August

Total construction starts rose 19% in August to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $793.3 billion. Gains were seen in all three major building sectors: nonresidential building starts rose 16% and residential building climbed 12%, while nonbuilding construction jumped 40% over the month. While large projects certainly influenced the August gains, removing those projects would still have resulted in a gain for the month.

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Construction Spending Rises; Highways Slide

The U.S. Census Bureau reported that total construction spending during July 2020 was estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1,364.6 billion, 0.1% (±1.2%) above the revised June estimate of $1,362.8 billion. The July figure is 0.1% (±1.6%) below the July 2019 estimate of $1,366.0 billion. 

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Simonson Says

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July 21, 2020 – Ken Simonson, economist for the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC), said that most states added construction jobs through mid-June, a promising sign. “The U.S. economy expanded at a slight to modest pace since the prior report as business activity varied across the country,” the Federal Reserve reported in the latest “Beige Book,” a summary of informal surveys of…

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Construction Starts Show Additional Gains in June

Total construction starts increased 6% in June to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $641.4 billion. This marks the second consecutive monthly gain in construction starts following the COVID-19 induced declines in March and April. In June nonresidential building starts gained 6% and starts in the nonbuilding sector moved 27% higher. Residential starts, by contrast, fell 6% during the month.

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Construction Starts Post Small Gain in May

Total construction starts rose 3% from April to May to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $595.1 billion, following a 25% decline the previous month. Several large nonresidential building projects broke ground in May resulting in the gain. Removing those large projects from the statistics would have resulted in no change in starts over the month. In May, nonresidential buildings increased 8%,…

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Construction Starts Show Sharp Contraction in April

Total construction starts declined 25% from March to April to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $572.2 billion as COVID-19 and the economic recession hit the construction sector. In April, nonresidential building starts fell 37% from March, while residential dropped 25%. The decline in nonbuilding construction starts was more tepid, falling just 5% due to strong activity in streets and bridges.

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Martin Marietta Looks Ahead

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May 5, 2020 – Martin Marietta Materials, in its first-quarter report, said that of the company’s three primary end uses, the outlook for infrastructure construction, particularly for aggregates-intensive highways and streets, is expected to be the most near-term resilient. While the majority of the United States has currently been ordered to shelter in place, most state Departments of Transportation (DOTs) are currently…

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