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Eight Month California Construction Volume Down 3.4%.

Business Editors

BURBANK, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Oct. 1, 2002

California's total construction activity for the first eight months of 2002 is down 3.4 percent, or $1.51 billion from the corresponding period last year, totaling $42.42 billion.

According to statistical data compiled by the Construction Industry Research Board (CIRB), this decline can be traced directly to the private nonresidential sector which is down $2.497 billion, or 20.7 percent, during the first eight months of 2002.

Total construction activity for the month of August is $5.60 billion, down 1.6 percent from July and down 2.4 percent from August 2001. Private nonresidential building activity for August has a total construction value of $1.298 billion, up 14.6 percent from July, but down 24.8 percent from August 2001. According to Ben Bartolotto, Director of CIRB, the August 2002 nonresidential total is an annual rate of $14.73 billion, up 13.6 percent from July but down 24.2 percent from August 2001. Further, the rates of the most recent three month average, is down 17.6 percent from all of 2001 at $13.81 billion and down 27.7 percent from 2000.

"It appears that nonresidential building has bottomed out," says Director Bartolotto. "Given an economic improvement, we expect this sector to start turning around."

Among counties, the largest decline in nonresidential building in the first eight months is in Santa Clara County, down $749.8 million, and Los Angeles County, down $659.1 million to date. CIRB says the two counties account for 56.4 percent of the statewide decline to date.

Bartolotto says while total nonresidential building, adjusted for inflation, is forecast at $13.728 billion for all of 2002, down 18.1 percent from 2001, the good news is CIRB is forecasting this sector to increase by 2.7 percent in 2003 to $14.10 billion.

California's public works construction, which includes government building plus heavy construction, totals $11.482 billion statewide in the first eight months, down $269.7 million, or 2.3 percent from the last year. Public buildings construction (government-owned buildings) total $4.701 billion, up 2.9 percent from the same period in 2001. During the month of August alone, four high school building projects were started totaling $121.8 million. Other major public building projects in August include: $20.0 million Los Angeles County port project; $20.5 million juvenile detention center in San Bernardino County; and a $39.4 million UC building project in Yolo County.

Also in August, the heavy construction sector totaled $856.8 million, up 8.1 percent from July 2001. Five major projects led by a $69.7 million water plant project in Los Angeles County continue to make the monthly numbers stronger.

Finally, residential building is up $1.233 billion, or 6.2 percent, for the first eight months, totaling $21.384 billion. Single-family units continue strong during this period totaling 81,608, up 7.6 percent year-to-date.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Oct 1, 2002
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