Construction Starts Ease Back In September After August Jump
The value of new construction starts slipped 2% in September to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $703.7 billion, according to Dodge Data & Analytics. This dip follows a 22% jump in total construction starts in August, which was the highest monthly gain this year. “September was still fairly high by recent standards, coming in 6% above the average of the previous eight months,” says Robert Murray, Dodge’s chief economist. “Construction starts in the past two years have shown considerable volatility, reflecting, in part, when very large projects were entered,” he says. For example, during the first half of last year, Dodge recorded 13 projects, each valued at $1 billion or more, that entered the planning stage. In the third quarter of 2015, that number dropped to only one such project. This year, there were four such projects in the first half of the year, but that jumped to six such projects in the third quarter of 2016. In the first nine months of this year, construction starts were down 3%.