Construction Starts Surge 37% Higher in November
January 13, 2020
Construction starts moved 37 percent higher from October to November, reaching a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $988.9 billion, according to Dodge Data & Analytics. The large percentage gain was not only a response to a particularly weak October, but also numerous massive projects that broke ground during the month. Nonresidential building starts gained 61 percent over the month.
November’s gain pushed the Dodge Index to 209 (2000=100) compared to the 153 posted in October. The dichotomy between the weakness in October and strength in November is startling. However, the average of the two months is 181—not much higher than the 11-month average of 173.
“The presence or absence of large projects continues to add immense volatility to the monthly data,” says Richard Branch, chief economist of Dodge Data and Analytics. “However, the underlying trend for the year remains intact—that construction starts are settling back following nine consistent years of growth.”
Year-to-date through November, nonresidential building starts were 3 percent lower than a year earlier. Commercial building starts were up 3 percent with gains in office buildings, warehouses and parking structures. Institutional starts were 6 percent lower through November with all major categories posting declines.