May Construction Starts Hit Record

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Non-residential construction starts hit a record high in May, an increase of 3.9% over April, according to Reed Construction Data. The value of construction, excluding residential activity, for the first five months of the year was more than $123.4 billion, 18.2% above the comparable period last year, Reed reported.

Additionally, the U.S. Census Bureau reported job-site construction through April was 13.1% above the same period in 2006.

The surge in non-residential construction is likely to be offset by the continuing problems in the housing market, which will keep overall construction activity approximately on a par with last year, the Reed report said.

Highway and bridge construction projects led the gains in May, while hotel starts declined. Both sectors are volatile, and the May figures don't necessarily indicate any trend, the report added.

Hotels, offices, bridges and water/sewer facilities are the fastest-growing construction segments through the first five months of 2007. Work on airports and libraries/museums are down for the period, Reed explained.

Download a PDF of the compete report here.