The value of new construction start ups in January climbed 12% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of US$690.2 billion, according to Dodge Data & Analytics.
Nonbuilding construction bounced back from a subdued December, with the boost arising from a US$750 million natural gas-fired power plant in Florida plus two pipeline projects – the US$900 million Plains Diamond oil pipeline in Arkansas and Oklahoma, and the US$767 million Presidio Crossing natural gas pipeline in Texas.
The January statistics raised the Dodge Index to 146 (2000 = 100), compared to 130 in December. The Dodge Index reached its 2016 peak in August at 156, and held close to that level in September at 153. The next three months showed the Dodge Index retreating 5 - 6% each month, culminating in December's 130. For the full year 2016, the Dodge Index averaged 144.
“The 12% gain for total construction starts in January gets 2017 off to a healthy beginning, following the declines reported toward the end of 2016," stated Robert A. Murray, Chief Economist for Dodge Data & Analytics.
Nonbuilding construction, at US$121.1 billion (annual rate), rebounded 44% in January after plunging 40% in December. The public works categories as a group climbed 32% in January, led by a 222% surge for the miscellaneous public works category, which includes pipelines, mass transit and site work.
Additional miscellaneous public works projects entered as January starts were a US$321 million light rail project in Bellevue WA and a US$142 million natural gas pipeline in Pennsylvania.
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