The dollar value of total construction starts dropped 7% in June, mostly due to a 24% monthly decline in non-building construction, according to Dodge Data & Analytics. On a year-to-date basis, total construction through the first six months of this year was down 11% from a year ago. However, most of that decline came from the exclusion of several mega­projects that started last year. Excluding projects valued at $1 billion or more, total construction starts through the first half of this year were down only 2%, according to Robert Murray, Dodge’s chief economist. “While investment remains cautious, some uncertainty has been alleviated, with energy prices stabilizing during this year’s first half,” says Murray. “There continues to be several supportive factors worth noting for construction activity this year. Long-term interest rates have moved lower, commercial development is being funded by multiple sources, construction bond measures are providing funds for institutional buildings and public works, and the multiyear federal transportation bill is in place,” Murray adds.