New construction starts in November fell 3% from the previous month, according to McGraw-Hill Construction, of which ENR is a unit. Through the first 11 months of 2008, total construction was down 16% from the same period a year ago, with virtually all the decline being attributed to a 39% drop in residential construction. If housing is excluded from the figures, new construction starts during this period were up a slight 1% over 2007. “The steep correction for housing has been under way for three straight years now, and a fourth year of decline is anticipated for 2009,” says Robert Murray, MHC’s chief economist. “The current year has also seen emerging weakness for nonresidential building, which is expected to broaden in scope during 2009. Prospects for nonbuilding construction going into 2009 would appear to be the brightest of the major sectors, given the potential boost to public works coming from the stimulus package.”

Source: McGraw-Hill Construction Dodge. Ten Month Cumulative.
McGraw-Hill Construction Starts