July contracts decrease 10 percentMcGraw-Hill Construction, a division of The McGraw-Hill Cos., New York, has reported construction starts fell 10 percent in July. For the first seven months of 2011, total construction was down 6 percent compared with the same period in 2010.
"The construction start statistics continue to show an up-and-down pattern as sporadic gains have yet to make the transition to more sustained expansion," says Robert A. Murray, vice president of economic affairs for McGraw-Hill Construction. "This behavior might be characterized as 'bouncing along the bottom,' following the sharp downturn for construction starts that took place in 2008 and 2009.
"Single-family housing remains stalled at a low volume, not able to perform its more typical role of leading a construction upturn," he continues. "The tight fiscal conditions at the federal, state and local levels of government are restraining the public works and institutional building sectors, and the recent debt ceiling agreement points toward further restraint. Although the commercial categories seem to have bottomed out, the concern about a weakening U.S. economy likely will delay any improvement for these project types in the near term."
Nonresidential building construction decreased 6 percent in July. In the commercial category, manufacturing plant construction jumped 190 percent; office construction slipped 9 percent; store construction dropped 9 percent; warehouse construction decreased 10 percent; and hotel construction fell 32 percent. In the institutional category, churches climbed 48 percent; transportation terminals rose 44 percent; educational buildings increased 12 percent; public buildings dropped 21 percent; amusement-related construction fell 45 percent; and health care facility construction decreased 55 percent.
Residential building construction grew 3 percent in July. Single-family housing decreased 1 percent and multifamily construction increased 19 percent.
Nonbuilding construction fell 23 percent in July.
During the first seven months of 2011, nonresidential building decreased 9 percent compared with the first seven months of 2010. Residential building was down 8 percent, and nonbuilding construction fell 2 percent. By geographic region, the West grew 10 percent; South Central decreased 9 percent; South Atlantic dropped 10 percent; and Northeast and Midwest fell 12 percent.
Date : 8/23/2011 12:00 AM