New construction starts in September fell 7% from the previous month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $399.1 billion, according to McGraw-Hill Construction, of which ENR is a unit. On a year-to-date basis, starts through the first three quarters of the year were down 32% from 2008’s level, including annual declines of 385 for housing, 37% for nonresidential building and 17% for nonbuilding construction. “September’s decline is one more reminder that the very modest upward trend that seemed to take hold during the spring will be uneven and at times halting,” Robert Murray, MHC’s chief economist.

Construction Market Downturn Deepens in September
Source: McGraw-Hill Construction Analytics. Construction Contract Value Cumulative Year-To-Date through September 2009.