The value of November’s construction starts dipped 5% from October’s level, to a $563.3-billion annual rate, but the total for 2015’s first 11 months was up 8% year over year, Dodge Data & Analytics has reported.

Dodge Data’s monthly report on new construction’s projected contract value, released on Dec. 15, showed that the nonresidential sector fell 13% month to month to a $175.4-billion rate.

Residential projects edged down 2%, to a $257.4-billion annual rate, and nonbuilding work decline less than 1%, to a $130.5-billion rate, Dodge D&A said.

The Dodge Index also declined last month to 119 from October’s 125. The year 2009 equals 100 on the index.

Nevertheless, construction still is recording gains over 2014, with the January-November’s $597.9-billion total 8% ahead of the year-earlier level.

Year over year, nonresidential was off 8% but residential increased 14% and nonbuilding was up 23%. The 11-month numbers aren’t adjusted for seasonal variations.

Robert Murray, Dodge D&A’s chief economist, said in a statement that “on balance, October and November do show improvement after the subdued activity in late summer.” October starts jumped 13% from September’s figure.

Murray sees encouraging developments for the future, including the Dec. 4 enactment of a five-year federal surface transportation measure. That legislation’s fiscal year 2016 highway funding is estimated to be 5% above the previous year’s total.

Among nonresidential market segments, the commercial buildings group fell 29% last month after climbing 53% in October.  Retail facility projects dropped 30% and warehouses were off 13%.

Manufacturing was a bright spot, posting a 38% increase, thanks to two auto plants—one for General Motors and the other for Mercedes-Benz—that got underway in November. They totaled $557 million.

In residential, multifamily housing dipped 6% following a 43% surge in October. Six multifamily projects valued at $100 million or more broke ground in November, compared with 11 the month before.

Among nonbuilding segments, highway and bridge projects were up 16%, including a $315-million highway reconstruction in Milwaukee. Miscellaneous public works—which includes transit and pipelines—soared 93%, propelled by the $1.6-billion Los Angeles Westside Subway extension, Dodge D&A said
But water supply tumbled 31%, sewer projects dropped 42% and electric power and gas facilities plunged 59%.

(ENR was part of Dodge D&A until July, when Dodge sold ENR to BNP Media. For many years before that, ENR and Dodge were units of McGraw-Hill Financial and its predecessor companies.)