According to McGraw-Hill Construction, publisher of Southeast Construction, the value of new North Carolina construction contracts signed in February for future construction increased 17%, compared to a year ago.

The value of the nonbuilding category—which includes infrastructure projects fueled by federal stimulus funding—more than doubled compared to last February, for more than $264.2 million in new contracts. The residential sector also improved, increasing by 20% for a total of $482.5 million in new starts. Nonresidential starts fell, however, declining by 27% during the month for a $215.1-million tally.

For the first two months of the year, North Carolina’s contract activity is now 23% ahead of 2009’s pace. The nonbuilding sector’s total of $483.1 million is more than double that of a year ago. Residential starts are 34% ahead of ’09, with nearly $988.5 million in new contracts so far. The value of nonresidential projects is about 16% behind, however, with roughly $608.1 million in new contracts.