January Construction Up 2 Percent From December

The value of new construction starts in January increased 2 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $504.4 billion, according to McGraw-Hill Construction Dodge, a division of the McGraw-Hill Companies. Modest gains relative to December were shown by each of the construction industry’s main sectors – nonresidential building, residential building and nonbuilding construction.

Nonresidential building increased 4 percent to $148.2 billion. Stores and shopping centers jumped 30 percent, helped by a $50 million expansion of a shopping center in Las Vegas, and hotel construction bounced back 54 percent from a depressed December. Office construction got a 4 percent boost in January, supported by the start of a $185 million office campus in southeastern Michigan, a $70 million office building in Phoenix and a $55 million office renovation project in New York City.

Residential building rose 1 percent in January to $264.5 percent. Single-family housing held steady with December, while multifamily housing jumped 11 percent.

Nonbuilding construction grew 3 percent to $91.7 billion in January.

On an unadjusted basis, total construction in January 2003 was down $35.7 billion from January 2002, a drop of 8 percent, with nonresidential building dropping by 15 percent. The regional pattern for total construction in January 2003 compared to the same month a year ago grew 3 percent in the West. The South Atlantic remained flat, the South Central dropped 5 percent, the Midwest 14 percent and the Northeast 32 percent.

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