2%

Percentage rise in the value of new construction starts in October. Despite this increase, the total is down 3% year-to-date from January to October 2009 levels. Nonbuilding construction jumped 14% for the month but slipped 2% year-to-date; residential building rose 3% and 8%, respectively; and nonresidential building slumped -9% and -12%. “This year’s pattern shows activity fluctuating within a set range, consistent with the belief that construction starts have now stabilized at a low level,” says McGraw-Hill’s Vice President of Economic Affairs Robert Murray. “At the same time, there’s yet to be evidence that renewed expansion on a sustained basis is about to take hold. The emerging recovery for housing has proven to be halting, and commercial building is still in the process of bottoming out. While public works in 2010 has moved at a decent clip, its prospects for 2011 are less favorable, given fading stimulus support and the fact that Congress has yet to pass the appropriations bills for fiscal 2011.”

Source: McGraw-Hill Construction

0.5%

Percentage increase (seasonally adjusted) of industrial production (IP) in manufacturing in October, which is 6.1% higher than last October. IP of construction supplies inched up 0.2% in October and 7.7% over 12 months. Capacity utilization in manufacturing rose to 72.7% of capacity — the highest rate since August 2008 but still far below the 1972 to 2009 average of 79.2%.

Source: Federal Reserve

0.2%

Percentage increase in apartment occupancy in the third quarter. Although this total is 0.3% lower than last year as a whole, rents rose 0.6% for the quarter. Based on analysis of five rental property types in more than 50 metro areas, occupancy rates also rose for the office, industrial, hotel, and retail sectors in the third quarter; however, rents were mixed.

Source: Dividend Capital Research

0.7%

Percentage increase in construction spending in October, putting the total at $802.3 billion at a seasonally adjusted annual rate. Despite this recent rise, construction spending is down 9.3% from October 2009.

Source: Census Bureau

1/3

Number of metropolitan areas (113 out of 337) in which construction employment either increased or remained steady between October 2009 and October 2010, according to a new analysis of federal employment data. Association officials said construction job gains are becoming more widespread, thanks in large part to an increase in power, stimulus, and other publicly funded construction projects.

Source: Associated General Contractors of America