Quarry Equipment Marketplace

DEC 2017

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Page 20 QEM – Quarry Equipment Marketplace December 2017 Q E M Q uarry Equipment M a r k e tpl a ce ¨ October Construction Starts Fall 9 Percent New construction starts in October dropped 9 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $742.9 billion, pulling back after a 14 percent jump in September, according to Dodge Data & Analytics. Over the past two months the pattern for total construction starts was shaped by nonresidential building, which fell 30 percent in October after soaring 37 percent in September, despite some large projects. Highway and bridge construction dropped 13 percent. During the first 10 months of 2017, the top 10 states in terms of the dollar amount of highway and bridge construction starts were Texas, California, Florida, Pennsylvania, New York, Virginia, Ohio, North Carolina, Georgia and Illinois. Residential building in October slipped 1 percent, due to a slower pace for multifamily housing. Running counter was a sharp 27 percent increase for nonbuilding construction, which was lifted by the start of the $3.0 billion expansion of the Atlantic Sunrise natural gas pipeline in Pennsylvania and Virginia. "The construction start statistics have occasionally been subject to 'spikes' on a monthly basis, boosted by the presence of several unusually large projects, and September definitely qualified as one of those 'spikes'," stated Robert A. Murray, chief economist for Dodge Data & Analytics. "The pace for nonresidential building in September was unsustainably high, so October's decline was expected. Nonresidential building is still on track to show moderate growth for 2017 as a whole, helping to keep the expansion for overall construction activity going. On the residential side, multifamily housing is retreating from a very strong 2016, but to this point the retreat has been modest. And, the downward pull coming from nonbuilding construction appears to be easing, given the ongoing strength shown by pipeline projects and some recent improvement by highways, bridges, and mass transit." Nonresidential Building Nonresidential building in October was $258.7 billion (annual rate), down 30 percent after the 37 percent hike reported in September. The manufacturing building category dropped 67 percent following its six-fold jump in September that featured the start of the $6.0 billion ethane cracker plant in Pennsylvania. October did include several large manufacturing plants, such as a $675 million polyethylene production plant and a $450 million oil refinery, both located in Texas, but they were not close to matching the size of September's ethane cracker plant. The institutional categories as a group in October fell 36 percent following a 25 percent increase in September that featured the start of the $4.0 billion new Delta terminal at LaGuardia Airport. Transportation terminal work was down 82 percent in October, and declines were also reported for educational and healthcare facilities. The educational facilities category dropped 29 percent in October, despite the start of such projects as a $180 million building renovation at the University of Connecticut in Storrs Mansfield, Conn., a $134 million innovation complex in Providence, R.I., and a $101 million high school in Little Rock. Ark. Healthcare facilities fell 21 percent in October, as only two projects valued at $100 million or more reached groundbreaking, compared to four such projects during September. On the plus side, the amusement and recreational category soared 121 percent in October, featuring the start of the $1.1 billion retractable roof ballpark for the Texas Rangers in Arlington, Texas, and a $240 million expansion to the Lexington Convention Center in Lexington, Ky. October gains were also reported for religious buildings, up 20 percent; and public buildings (courthouses and detention facilities), up 15 percent. The commercial categories as a group were able to advance 10 percent in October, even with a 14 percent retreat for office buildings from September that included the $1.7 billion 50 Hudson Yards project in New York. The decline for the office building category was limited by the October groundbreaking for several noteworthy projects, including the $440 million State Farm Park Center office complex in Dunwoody, Ga., the $331 million office portion of the $570 million Rainier Square mixed-use building in Seattle and a $150 million data center in Allen, Texas. Store construction in October improved 34 percent from a subdued September, while new warehouse construction grew 27 percent with the help of a $235 million ware-

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