Total construction starts through the first five months of this year are down 5% from a year ago, according to Dodge Data & Analytics’ year-to-date numbers. The drop is completely due to a 25% decline in the value of non-building construction.
If manufacturing and work on electric utilities and gas plants are taken out of the equation, total construction starts would be up 2%, says Robert Murray, chief economist for Dodge. However, May’s monthly numbers indicate a reversal of fortune. In May, non-building construction rebounded 23%, with a number of large pipelines entering the start stage. The largest pipeline to start in May was the $1.5-billion Revolution Pipeline in western Pennsylvania. In addition, there was a $690-million gas pipeline in Texas.