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Number of constructions in U.S. jumps 13 percent

Staff writer |
At a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $677.8 billion, new construction starts in November climbed 13% from the previous month, according to Dodge Data & Analytics (formerly McGraw Hill Construction).

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Nonresidential building had a particularly strong month, lifted by the start of several unusually large projects, including two massive manufacturing plants and an airport terminal redevelopment. The nonbuilding construction sector also contributed to the latest month's surge, boosted by a liquefied natural gas facility.

Meanwhile, residential building retreated in November, as multifamily housing settled back from its brisk pace in October. For the first eleven months of 2014, new construction starts on an unadjusted basis were $530.8 billion, up 7% from the same period a year ago.

Nonresidential building in November soared 32% to $256.7 billion (annual rate). A substantial boost came from a 253% increase for the manufacturing plant category, maintaining the often volatile behavior that's been present this year.

The two largest manufacturing projects entered as November starts were a $2.5 billion lithium ion battery factory for Tesla Motors in Reno NV and a $1.3 billion nitrogen urea plant in Enid OK.

Nonbuilding construction, at $182.6 billion (annual rate), advanced 22% in November. The electric power and gas plant category provided most of the lift, jumping 363%, which reflected the $3.6 billion Dominion Cove Point LNG Liquefaction Project in Maryland being entered as a November start.

Residential building in November fell 6% to $238.5 billion (annual rate). Multifamily housing retreated after its strong October performance, sliding 21%. Despite the decline, there were still a substantial number of large multifamily projects that reached groundbreaking in November, including eleven projects valued at $100 million or more.

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