New construction volume climbed 13% in October from the previous month’s level, to a $591.1-billion annual rate, thanks largely to an upturn in the nonresidential sector, says Dodge Data and Analytics.

Dodge D&A’s latest monthly report on projected construction spending, released on Nov. 20, also shows that construction starts for the first 10 months of 2015 were up 10% from the same period last year, to $551.9 billion. The month-to-month figures are seasonally adjusted; the year-to-date numbers are not.

In addition, Dodge said that its October Dodge Index rose to 125 from September’s 111. The index’s base year, when it stood at 100, is 2000. 

Robert Murray, Dodge chief economist, said in a statement, “The healthy increase for construction starts in October alleviates concern about a stalling expansion that may have arisen with the sluggish activity in August and September.”

New construction's estimated volume fell 5% in September after posting an 11% month-to-month drop in August, according to Dodge.

Nonresidential projects soared 32% in October to a $200.7-billion seasonally adjusted annual rate. Dodge said construction of retail stores leaped 56%, including a $561-million expansion and upgrade of the Westfield Century City Mall in Los Angeles.

In another key nonresidential segment, office building was up 45%, including a $570-million first phase of a Facebook data center in Fort Worth, Texas, and a $300-million Google data center expansion in Lithia Springs, Ga.

Residential building moved up 9% to a $260.3-billion annual rate as 11 multifamily projects of $100 million or more got under way in October.

The sour note was sounded in nonbuilding construction, whose projected volume dipped 3%, to a $130.2-billion yearly rate. Dodge noted that electric utility and natural-gas project starts tumbled 21%.

(ENR was part of Dodge D&A until July, when BNP Media acquired it. Earlier, ENR and Dodge were both units of McGraw-Hill Financial and its predecessor companies.)