US: construction projects on the rise, 11% up in April

New construction starts in the US increased 11%, after a 23% gain in March, supported by growth in non-residential building, as well as a slight increase for residential building.

New construction starts in the US in April increased 11% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of USD 531.3 billion, according to the latest report from McGraw-Hill Construction. This increase followed a 23% gain in March.
According to McGraw-Hill Construction, the April increase was supported by growth in non-residential building, as well as the fact that a slight increase for residential building.
“Aside from the boost coming from this year’s nuclear power projects, the picture for construction starts in early 2012 is one of deterioration though March followed by some improvement in April,” says Robert Murray, vice president of economic affairs for McGraw-Hill Construction. “The overall level of activity continues to hover within a set range, and has not yet shifted from a hesitant up-and-down pattern to more steady expansion. On a positive note, non-residential building in April was able to bounce back, suggesting that this sector’s current status is not quite as weak as portrayed in February and March.”
Non-residential building increased 14% in April, while the institutional side of the non-residential market showed some improvement. Healthcare facilities soared 70% and public buildings category advanced 44; amusement-related construction was up 28% and church construction increased 7%. Educational building, however was down 3%.
The commercial side of the non-residential market featured a sharp 45% increase for store construction. Office construction dropped 4%, warehouse construction was down 13%, and hotel construction lost 36%. At the same time, however, manufacturing plant construction was up 136%.