Nonbuilding construction starts fell 32 percent in October, decreasing to a seasonally adjusted $231 billion, according to a new report from Dodge Construction Network.
A decline in utility/gas starts drove the category’s starts to a 12-month low. In addition, miscellaneous nonbuilding starts dropped 20 percent and environmental starts were 15 percent lower.
Richard Branch, chief economist for Dodge Construction Network, pointed to high interest rates and tight credit as the causes of weakening construction starts during the past two months.
“While it seems likely that the Federal Reserve will hold off raising rates further, it will take time until they consider easing,” noted Branch. “This will likely result in a continued softening in construction starts over the next several months.”
On a positive note, total nonbuilding starts overall were up 20 percent year-to-date through October. Highway and bridge starts improved 6 percent in October, ut