Rock Products

JUL 2013

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April, and occurred despite the May start of several large airport terminal projects – a $229 million renovation of Terminal 5 at Los Angeles Interna‐ tional Airport, a $90 million gate re‐ placement project at Fort Lauderdale International Airport, and a $75 mil‐ lion renovation for Terminal E at Dal‐ las‐Ft. Worth International Airport. Residential Building Residential building, at $206.8 billion (annual rate), advanced 3 percent in May. Single‐family housing, which had shown signs of leveling off in the prior two months, edged up 2 percent in May. The rate of activity for single‐family housing continues to be high by recent standards, with May up 26 percent from the average monthly pace during 2012. By geography, single‐family housing in May revealed gains in the Midwest, up 6 percent; the West, up 5 percent; and the South Atlantic, up 2 percent; but de‐ clines in the South Central, down 2 per‐ cent; and the Northeast, down 6 percent. Multifamily housing in May grew 7 percent, and its May volume was up 24 percent from the average monthly pace during 2012. Large projects that supported the in‐ crease for multifamily housing in May included a $225 million condominium tower in Sunny Isles Beach, Fla., the $144 million apartment portion of a $250 million mixed‐use project in Rockville, Md., a $90 million multifamily building in Cambridge, Mass., and a $90 million multifamily building in San Francisco. During the first five months of 2013, the top five metropolitan areas in terms of the dollar amount of new multifamily starts were the following – New York, Miami, Washington, D.C., Boston, and Los Angeles. Nonbuilding Construction Nonbuilding construction in May in‐ creased 2 percent to $132.4 billion (an‐ nual rate). Supporting the nonbuilding gain was a 44 percent jump for electric utilities from a lackluster April, although the May amount for electric utilities was still down 24 percent from the average monthly pace during 2012. The start of a $2.3 billion solar power fa‐ cility in California lifted electric utilities in May; the next largest electric utility projects were two $300 million gas‐fired power plants, located in Delaware and Oregon. The public works categories in May showed varied behavior. Highway and bridge construction bounced back 11 percent after a 26 per‐ cent drop in April, continuing the up‐ and‐down pattern that's been present so far in 2013. Relative to last year, the stronger months for highway and bridge construction in 2013 have out‐ weighed the weaker months, resulting in a 6 percent year‐to‐date gain. A 32 percent jump was reported in April for water supply systems, helped by the start of a $537 million desalina‐ tion plant in California, and river/har‐ bor development climbed 81 percent from a weak April. On the negative side, sewer construction in May dropped 14 percent, sliding for the third month in a row. A steep 63 percent plunge was re‐ ported in May for miscellaneous public works, falling back after an elevated April that included the start of three large rail‐related projects. The 3 percent downturn for total con‐ struction starts on an unadjusted basis during the first five months of 2013 re‐ flected a 29 percent pullback for non‐ building construction. While the public works portion of nonbuilding construc‐ tion was up 5 percent year‐to‐date, elec‐ tric utilities were down 70 percent. The first five months of 2012 featured an exceptional amount of large electric utility projects to reach the construc‐ tion start stage, led by two nuclear projects – $8.5 billion for Units 3 and 4 at the Vogtle nuclear power facility in Georgia and $8.5 billion for Units 2 and 3 at the V.C. Summer nuclear power fa‐ cility in South Carolina. Additional large electric utility projects that reached the construction start stage in the first five months of 2012 included a $1.3 billion gas‐fired power plant in Florida, a $1.1 billion gas‐fired power plant in Virginia, and a $1.1 bil‐ lion solar energy complex in California. So far in 2013, the largest electric util‐ ity projects to reach the construction start stage are the $2.3 billion solar power facility in California and a $1.2 billion upgrade to a coal‐fired generat‐ ing plant in Kentucky. Residential building in the first five months of 2013 advanced 32 percent compared to last year, reflecting simi‐ lar gains for single‐family housing, up 32 percent; and multifamily housing, up 30 percent. Nonresidential building during this year's first five months re‐ treated 8 percent, due to a 13 percent drop for the institutional categories as well as a 20 percent decline for manu‐ facturing plants. Commercial building on a year‐to‐date basis registered a 2 percent gain from last year. By geography, total construction starts during the first five months of 2013 featured gains in three regions – the West, up 10 percent; the Northeast, up 7 percent; and the South Central, up 6 percent. Year‐to‐date shortfalls were reported for two regions – the Mid‐ west, down 7 percent; and the South Atlantic, down 22 percent. If electric utilities are excluded from the con‐ struction start statistics in the South Atlantic, that region would post a 23 percent year‐to‐date gain. E Monthly Construction Starts (Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rates, In Millions of Dollars) Nonresidential Building Residential Building Nonbuilding Construction TOTAL Construction May 2013 $156,423 $206,808 $132,432 $495,663 April 2013 $143,211 $200,987 $129,719 $473,917 % Change +9 +3 +2 +5 ROCKproducts • JULY 2013 39

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