Rock Products

JAN 2018

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56 • ROCK products • January 2018 ECONOMICS for the $300 million new tower at the Palace Station hotel in Las Vegas and the $127 million Loews Hotel at the Texas Live! development in Arlington, Texas. Office construction slipped 3 percent in November, despite support from such projects as a $219 million office tower in Camden, N.J., the $165 million Senti- nel Square office building in Washington, D.C., and the $153 million FBI Central Records Complex in Winchester, Va. Store construction in November was unchanged from October. The manufac- turing buildings category fell 38 percent from October. The largest manufactur- ing projects entered as November starts were a $225 million Lockheed Martin production facility in Colorado and a $190 million upgrade to a Samsung Electronics facility in South Carolina. Residential Building For residential building, growth is being reported for the single-family side of the market, while multifamily hous- ing appears to have peaked and is now retreating moderately. Residential building in November was $302.1 billion (annual rate), up 1 percent from October. Single-fam- ily housing rose 4 percent, showing upward movement once again after the pause experienced earlier in the year. Multifamily housing decreased 5 per- cent, retreating for the second month in a row as the number of very large proj- ects that are reaching groundbreaking continues to settle back. In November, there were 6 multifamily projects valued each at $100 million or more. Nonbuilding Construction Nonbuilding construction in November was $128.4 billion (annual rate), down 32 percent from the previous month. The public works categories as a group fell 34 percent, including a 49 percent plunge for the miscellaneous public works category that includes such diverse project types as pipelines, rail mass transit and site work. October had included the start of the $3.0 billion expansion of the Atlan- tic Sunrise natural gas pipeline in Pennsylvania and Virginia, plus the $750 million Epic natural gas pipeline in Texas. November did include one substantial project, the $2.0 billion Purple Line Project, which is a 16-mile light rail line in Maryland extending from Bethesda to New Carrollton, but the other miscellaneous public works projects entered as November starts were considerably smaller in scale. Highway and bridge construction dropped 12 percent in November, retreating for the third month in a row following the improved activity reported in July and August. Additional public works declines in November were – sewer construction, down 6 percent; water supply construction, down 19 percent; and river/harbor develop- ment, down 64 percent. The electric utility/gas plant category in November receded 9 percent, although the latest month did include the start of several large power-related projects, including a $430 million wind farm in Nebraska, a $210 million natural gas-fired power plant in Massachusetts, and a $178 mil- lion transmission line project in Iowa. During the first 11 months of 2017, total construction starts on an unadjusted basis were $687.1 billion, up 1 percent from a year ago. The year-to-date increase for total construc- tion was restrained by a 39 percent downturn for the electric utility/gas plant category. Excluding electric utilities and gas plants, total construction starts during the first 11 months of 2017 would be up 4 percent compared to last year. Through the first 11 months of 2017, nonresidential building advanced 7 percent compared to the same period a year ago. The institutional building group increased 14 percent year-to-date, led by a 127 percent jump for transportation terminals combined with a 7 percent gain for educational facilities. Additional year-to-date gains were reported for religious buildings, up 15 percent; and public buildings, up 4 percent; while the healthcare facilities category was flat and the amusement category slipped 5 percent. Manufacturing building year-to-date climbed 32 percent, reflecting a rebound for petrochemical plant starts in 2017. The commercial building group retreated 5 percent year-to- date, with both office buildings and hotels down 6 percent, while store construction dropped 11 percent. Warehouse construction, up 9 percent, was the only commercial category to register a year-to-date increase. During the January-November period of 2017, residential building grew 2 percent compared to last year. Single family housing climbed 8 percent, providing the lift to the residential total as the result of this year-to-date regional pattern – the South Atlantic, up 12 percent; the South Central and the West, each up 8 percent; the Midwest, up 5 percent; and the Northeast, down 1 percent. In contrast, multifamily housing registered a 12 percent year-to-date decline. During the first 11 months of 2017, nonbuilding construction was down 7 percent from the same period a year ago. Much of the downward pull came from the 39 percent year-to-date decline for the electric utility/gas plant category, which con- tinues to retreat from its exceptionally strong amount back in 2015. The public works categories as a group registered a 5 percent year-to-date gain. The miscellaneous public works category surged 29 percent year-to-date, boosted by a 73 percent jump for natural gas and petroleum pipelines to $20.2 billion and a 116 percent jump for rail mass transit to $9.5 billion. Highway and bridge construction edged up 1 percent year- to-date, stabilizing after the 9 percent decline reported for the full year 2016. The top five states ranked by the dollar amount of highway and bridge construction starts during the January-November period were – Texas, California, Flor- ida, New York and Pennsylvania. Each of the environmental public works categories registered year-to-date declines – river/harbor development, down 10 percent; sewer con- struction, down 12 percent; and water supply construction, down 19 percent. Year-to-Date

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