New construction starts fell 5% in September, to a seasonally adjusted rate of $523 billion, with decreased activity for both nonresidential building and nonbuilding work, according to McGraw-Hill Construction, of which ENR is a unit. Mcgraw-Hill Construction Analytics “The declines are consistent with trends expected through the end of 2008 and into 2009,” says MHC Chief Economist Robert Murray. “Commercial structure types have lost momentum. In addition, erosion in the fiscal health of states will dampen activity for institutional and public-works sectors going forward.”
The market is generally healthy and steadily growing, and margins are up for large specialty contractors. Further, advances in design tools and owner demand for collaboration are giving subcontractors a seat at the table early on in projects.