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Construction advances in January.

Newly started construction in January climbed 7 percent, reversing two months of decline, it was reported by the F.W. Dodge Division of McGraw-Hill, The latest month's contract award data lifted the seasonally adjusted Dodge Index to 100, still below the recent high of 104 reached in October. The Index uses 1987 as its 100 base.

With both nonresidential and residential building remaining fairly close to the levels reported in December, a surge in the often volatile nonbuilding construction sector (public works and utilities) was responsible for Janua [similar to] 's increase. The pattern of nonbuilding construction often reflects the impact of very large projects: in January the inclusion of three power plant starts and a large waste treatment facility boosted the nonbuilding total.

Non-residential construction edged up 3 percent in January. A rebound for the institutional categories (schools, hospitals, detention facilities, passenger terminals, etc.) was the source of the nonresidential advance.

January's residential construction receded 2 percent. Single family housing cased back from the preceding month's robust amount, while the multifamily side-of-the market held close to the very weak levels reported over the past year.

Nonbuilding construction rose 41 percent in January, spurred by the start of four huge projects and a rebound for public works from December's very weak level. The three large power plant projects (located in South Carolina, New York, and Massachusetts) had a combined value in excess of $600 million; together with the start of a $178 million waste treatment facility, they accounted for 21 percent of January's nonbuilding surge. The balance of the increase came from the public works categories bouncing back from a lackluster December and does not itself represent a major shift for this market -- the average for December and January is within one percent of the general level of public works activity reported in 1992.
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Title Annotation:F.W. Dodge Division of McGraw-Hill reports increase in new construction in January 1993
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Date:Mar 10, 1993
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