McGraw-Hill Construction reported a fall in August in its tracking of contracts for new construction.
At a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $540.6 billion, new construction starts in August dropped 9%, according to McGraw Hill Construction, a division of McGraw Hill Financial.
The decline followed July’s elevated volume, the strongest so far in 2014, and brought activity back to the average pace reported during the first seven months of this year.
By major sector, nonresidential building fell sharply, after being lifted in July by the start of several large manufacturing plant projects, while nonbuilding construction (public works and electric utilities) also retreated. Residential building in August ran counter by posting a modest gain, helped by the continued growth for multifamily housing.
What’s the meaning of this? Total construction for the year-to-date (NOT adjusted for inflation or seasonal blips) is +4% for the year, as shown in the table above. Good, but not great.