Dodge Data & Analytics, New York, has reported construction starts fell 4% in April after rising 19% in March.
Nonresidential building construction fell 22% in April as manufacturing starts declined 68%. Commercial starts increased 5% and institutional starts fell 13%.
Residential building construction grew 12% in April. Single-family housing increased 14%, and multifamily starts climbed 10%.
Nonbuilding construction rose 7% in April.
“The construction sector continues to sweep its economic worries under the rug, even with inflation, unstable banking and the potential breach of the U.S. debt ceiling,” said Richard Branch, chief economist for Dodge Construction Network. “While the presence of, or lack thereof, large manufacturing projects each month has made the data more volatile, the underlying trends point to a very healthy sector. However, this is likely transitory. The Dodge Momentum Index, which tracks projects entering the earliest stages of planning, is falling, which should lead to weaker starts in the second half of the year—especially for the private sector.”
For the 12 months ending April 2023, total construction starts were up 11% compared with the 12 months ending April 2022. Nonresidential building rose 34%; nonbuilding construction grew 24%; and residential building dropped 13%.