Total value of new construction up 4% in March

Nonresidential construction rose 10% from February 2005

McGraw-Hill Construction recently reported the total value of new construction increased to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $594.1 billion in March, which is 4% more than the February rate of $569.8 billion. Nonresidential building strengthened in March, increasing to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $138.2 billion, which is 10% ahead of the February rate of $125.8 billion.

The report said that nonbuilding construction starts increased to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $97.5 billion in March, which is 1% ahead of the February rate of $96.4 billion. Contract value for residential building strengthened, climbing to $358.4 billion, 3% ahead of the February rate of $347.6 billion.

Other areas that saw increases were store construction, which increased 10%, hotel construction (75%), warehouse contracts (32%), and health-care facilities (43%). In addition, construction of public buildings was up 21%, and church construction increased 8%.

In contrast, school construction slipped 7%, office construction fell 1%, construction of transportation terminals dropped 4%, and manufacturing plant construction slid 16%.

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