Manufacturing, Transportation Gains Lift Construction Starts

By Matthew Thibault Factory project kickoffs continued their tear, rocketing 285% from the month before.

Dive Brief:

  • Total construction starts rose 6% in August to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1.3 trillion, according to Dodge Construction Network, buoyed by pickups in the manufacturing and transportation building sectors.
  • The two sectors’ gains help lift starts in the broader nonresidential construction category by 40% and kept the overall index in positive territory. For example, residential and nonbuilding construction fell 1% and 14%, respectively, according to Dodge. That bifurcation among sectors tells a story of haves and have nots that’s weighing on the broader industry.
  • “Despite the August gain, the construction sector is running uphill,” said Richard Branch, chief economist for Dodge Construction Network, in the release. “Fear of an imminent recession seems to have abated, which should provide a boost of confidence to the sector. However, higher interest rates, labor shortages and significantly tighter lending standards will weigh down starts in the final quarter of the year.” READ FULL ARTICLE >>