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Total Construction Starts Inch Higher in April

Total construction starts rose 3 percent in April to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $945.8 billion, according to Dodge Construction Network. Nonresidential building starts rose 6 percent and residential starts increased by 4 percent, while nonbuilding starts fell 4 percent.

Year-to-date, total construction was 6 percent higher in the first four months of 2022 compared to the same period of 2021. Nonresidential building starts rose 19 percent, residential starts gained 3 percent, while nonbuilding starts were 2 percent lower. For the 12 months ending April 2022, total construction starts were 12 percent above the 12 months ending April 2021. Nonresidential starts were 24 percent higher, residential starts gained 11 percent and nonbuilding starts were down 1 percent.

“The construction sector is seemingly shrugging off the fear of higher interest rates and a potential recession,” said Richard Branch, chief economist for Dodge Construction Network. “Many building sectors have made the turn from weakness to recovery as underlying economic growth and hiring are solid. With the pipeline of projects in planning continuing to expand, this trend should continue in the months to come. However, the concern that the Federal Reserve will force the U.S. into recession later this year may thwart the momentum in construction starts. While recession is not our baseline forecast, it cannot be fully discounted.”

Read the full Dodge release for the complete breakdown of construction segment performance.