Construction starts fall 9% during August
The hammers of August lost a bit of their schwing this summer. Overall construction starts during the month slumped by 9 percent to an annualized rate of $541 billion, according to a report from McGraw Hill Construction.
One can only hope the August downturn is not presaging a slowing real estate sector.
But there is no need to jump to that conclusion when one considers that July’s construction numbers were the best this year, and that construction activity during the first eight months of this year totaled $361.4 billion, up 4 percent over 2013.
By major sector, nonresidential building fell 19 percent to an annualized rate $185 billion, after getting a boost in July from the start of several large manufacturing plant projects. Non-building construction (public works and electric utilities) also retreated during August. Residential building during the month ran counter by posting a modest gain, helped by the continued