Article source: ConstructConnect
ConstructConnect announced today that January’s level of U.S. construction starts, excluding residential activity, was $24.6 billion, a decrease of 9.1% versus the dollar volume in the period before. The month-to-month drop was almost an exact match for the usual December-to-January decline of -8.5%. Due to harsh winter weather – which is another way of saying ‘seasonality’ – January is traditionally the worst month of the year for construction groundbreakings or starts.
Starts in January 2017 versus their level in January 2016 were also down, -11.6%. January 2017 compared with average January starts over the five years, 2012 to 2016, was +6.0%.
The starts figures throughout this report are not seasonally adjusted (NSA). Nor are they altered for inflation. They are expressed in what are termed ‘current’ as opposed to ‘constant’ dollars.
‘Nonresidential building’ plus ‘engineering/civil’ work accounts for a considerably larger share of total construction than residential activity. The former’s combined proportion of total put-in-place construction in the Census Bureau’s December report was 61%; the latter’s was 39%.
ConstructConnect’s construction starts are leading indicators for the Census Bureau’s capital investment or put-in-place series. Also, the reporting period for starts (i.e., January 2017) is one month ahead of the reporting period for the investment series (i.e., December 2016.)