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27% Drop in Construction Starts Is Not Sign of Industry Downturn, Dodge Economist Says

February 23, 2023

Via: ENR

Construction starts fell 27% in January compared to December, but the drop is not necessarily a sign of an ongoing slowdown, according to Dodge Construction Network’s chief economist, Richard Branch. January construction starts totaled a seasonally adjusted rate of $865.6 billion.

Dodge data also show that nonresidential building starts fell 38% from December, but compared to January 2022, nonresidential starts were only down 2%. Nonbuilding starts, which dropped 16% from December, were up 10% compared to a year earlier. Branch says the starts of “mega-projects” valued at $500 million or more over the last few months obscure the trend in construction activity.

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