September contracts decreased 18%

October 20, 2020

Dodge Data & Analytics, New York, has reported construction starts fell 18% in September. Total construction starts in September were down 8% compared with September 2019.

“That construction starts took a significant step back in September is disappointing, but also not surprising,” said Richard Branch, chief economist for Dodge Data & Analytics. “The economic recovery has lost momentum and is showing strain since support provided to consumers and businesses from expanded unemployment insurance benefits and the Paycheck Protection Program have expired. The worsening budget crisis for state and local areas has also slowed growth in public project starts, particularly in the face of a somewhat uncertain outlook for federal infrastructure spending programs. The road to recovery will continue to be uneven and fraught with potholes until a vaccine is developed and widely adopted across the U.S.”

Nonresidential building construction decreased 24% in September. Manufacturing starts fell 48%; commercial construction starts dropped 36%; and institutional starts fell 8%.

Residential building construction fell 21% in September. Single-family housing dropped 6%, and multifamily construction decreased 54%.

Nonbuilding construction fell 5% in September.

For the 12 months ending in September, nonresidential building was down 19% compared with the 12 months ending September 2019. Residential building rose 4%, and nonbuilding construction fell 11%.

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