Construction contracting advances three percent in April

New construction starts in April rose 3 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $484.5 billion, according to the Dodge Division of McGraw-Hill Construction. Compared to the previous month, moderate improvement was registered by each of the industry's three main sectors – nonresidential building, residential building and nonbuilding construction.


April's data lifted the Dodge Index to 146, following the 141 reported for March.

Nonresidential building in April was reported at $152.1 billion, up 3 percent. Residential building, at $232 billion, increased 2 percent in April and nonbuilding construction grew 7 percent in April to $100.3 billion.


During the January-April period of 2002, total construction on an unadjusted basis was up 1 percent compared to the previous year. By major sector, greater contracting was reported for residential building, up 11 percent; and nonbuilding construction, up 4 percent; but nonresidential building trailed 2001 by 13 percent. On a geographical basis, total construction in this year's first four months was the following: the Northeast, up 11 percent; the South Atlantic, up 8 percent; the Midwest, up 5 percent; the West, down 6 percent; and the South Central, down 9 percent.

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