Rock Products

JUL 2015

Rock Products is the aggregates industry's leading source for market analysis and technology solutions, delivering critical content focusing on aggregates-processing equipment; operational efficiencies; management best practices; comprehensive market

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 43 of 55

42 • ROCK products • July 2015 ECONOMICS At a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $729.7 billion, new construction starts in May climbed 3 percent compared to April's already elevated pace, accord- ing to Dodge Data & Analytics. The non- building construction sector provided much of the lift, given an exceptionally strong amount reported for the electric power and gas plant category, which reflected a massive liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminal project in Texas being entered as a May start. Residential building showed modest improvement in May, helped by more multifamily housing, while nonresi- dential building fell sharply from its heightened April volume. Highway and bridge construction slipped 1 percent. "The presence of unusually large proj- ects, notably several LNG terminals and several petrochemical plants, con- tinues to lift the volume of total con- struction starts above its underlying trend," stated Robert A. Murray, chief economist for Dodge Data & Analytics. "This lift from unusually large projects is expected to become less pronounced as 2015 proceeds, which still leaves total construction starts growing at about a 10 percent clip. Nonresidential building is witnessing a broader expansion this year, with its institutional building segment contributing to the upturn along with the strengthening trend already es- tablished for commercial building. Residential building is seeing further growth for multifamily housing al- though any upward movement by sin- gle-family housing remains hesitant. The public works sector has proven to be surprisingly resilient so far in 2015, as states and localities have picked up some of the slack from essentially flat federal funding. On a cautionary note, public works still faces near term un- certainty, since the recently expired federal transportation legislation was extended by Congress only through the end of July, and the Highway Trust Fund will need to be shored up once again with additional funding." Nonbuilding Construction Nonbuilding construction in May jumped 59 percent to $262.7 billion (annual rate). The electric power and gas plant category led the way, soaring 229 percent, which was due in large measure to the massive $9 billion LNG export terminal in Corpus Christi, Tex- as, being included as a May start. The huge increase for the electric pow- er and gas plant category in May also reflected the start of several very large power plants, including two solar pow- er facilities in California, valued at $1.0 billion and $582 million, respectively, as well as a $600 million natural gas- fired power plant in Indiana. The public works categories as a group receded 3 percent in May. Highway and bridge construction slipped 1 percent, although May did include the start of two major bridge projects – a $158 million bridge replacement in Indiana and a $146 million bridge upgrade in New Jersey. The miscellaneous public works cat- egory, which includes such diverse project types as rail-related work and pipelines, fell 38 percent in May. The previous month had included $690 million for the start of rail-related work in the Fresno, Calif., area as part of the California high-speed rail project, and by contrast the largest miscellaneous public works construction start in May was a $67 million natural gas pipeline in Pennsylvania. The environmental public works cat- egories all showed strong percentage gains in May. Water supply construc- tion advanced 28 percent, aided by the start of an $84 million water treatment plant in Alabama, while river/harbor development and sewer construction showed gains of 26 percent and 23 percent, respectively. Residential Building Residential building, at $258.9 billion (annual rate), edged up 2 percent in May. Multifamily housing improved 7 percent, regaining upward momentum after settling back during the previous two months. May featured the start of May Construction Starts Increase 3 Percent Residential Building Shows Modest Improvement In May; Highway And Bridge Construction Slips 1 Percent. By Mark S. Kuhar MONTHLY CONSTRUCTION STARTS (Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rates, In Millions of Dollars) May. 2015 Apr. 2015 % Change Nonresidential Building $208,143 $287,805 -28 Residential Building $258,866 $253,033 +2 Nonbuilding Construction $262,689 $165,115 +59 TOTAL Construction $729,698 $705,953 +3

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Rock Products - JUL 2015