The dollar value of total construction starts jumped 10% in February from the previous month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $667.6 billion, according to Dodge Data & Analytics. Despite the monthly rebound, construction starts through the first two months of this year are running 16% below 2015’s opening two months. Much of the lift in February came from the non-building sector, as its electric-and-gas plant category included a $3-billion liquefied-natural-gas export terminal in Texas, as well as the start of six power-plant projects, each valued in excess of $200 million. “The month-to-month pattern of construction starts will often reflect the presence of large projects, explaining February’s gains,” says Robert Murray, chief economist for Dodge. “During the first two months of 2015, there were 13 projects valued at $500 million or more that reached the construction-start stage, compared to just five such projects during the first two months of 2016, which explains the year-to-year drop,” he notes. Commercial building starts rose 15% in February on the strength of four hotel projects, all valued between $177 million and $530 million.
Dodge Starts Jump 10% in February But Are Down 16% From 2015
March 23, 2016