September Starts Drop 5%

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September Starts Drop 5%

New construction starts in September fell 5% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $774.1 billion, according to Dodge Data & Analytics. Nonresidential building starts inched 1% higher in September to $287 billion (at a seasonally adjusted annual rate). The increase was a result of a 243% increase in manufacturing construction due to the start of a large automotive plant. Commercial construction starts fell 14% over the month as the office sector pulled back from a very strong level of activity during the prior month. Institutional construction starts fell 1%. The largest nonresidential building project to break ground in September was a $969 million consolidated rental car facility at Los Angeles International Airport in Los Angeles CA. Also getting under way was the $900 million Fiat Chrysler Assembly complex in Detroit MI and the $750 million Exxon Polypropylene Production plant in Baton Rouge LA. Year-to-date through September, nonresidential building starts totaled $215.0 billion, a 4% decline from the first nine months of 2018. Commercial starts were 6% higher pushed forward by the office, warehouse, and parking categories. Institutional construction starts were down 3% through nine months, with all major categories posting setbacks. Manufacturing starts were a sharp 39% lower year-to-date.