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- June 1, 2020: Vol. 32, Number 6

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Construction starts fall in April amid outbreak

by Loretta Clodfelter

The COVID-19 pandemic has had an immediate and sharp effect on construction activity. Total construction starts fell 25 percent from March to April, according to Dodge Data & Analytics, which tracked $572.2 billion in construction starts on a seasonally adjusted annual basis in April.

Nonresidential construction fell 37 percent from March to April, and residential construction fell 25 percent. The fall in new construction activity occurred even though many localities have allowed construction as an essential service.

“The April starts data is definitely sobering, but also very much expected,” states Richard Branch, chief economist for Dodge Data & Analytics. “The near shuttering of the economy during April had a significant negative effect on the construction industry, leading to delays in both ongoing projects as well as those about to break ground. Even though parts of the country are beginning to reopen, and some areas that had paused construction are

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