New construction starts decreased 8% in March, according to a recent report by McGraw-Hill Construction, New York. The association also reported that non-residential construction was down compared to the increases reported in January and February. Residential building continued to decline with the continued correction in single-family housing.

Non-building construction, such as public works and electric utilities, showed greater activity with the start of several large power plants. During the first three months of 2008, total construction on an unadjusted basis was down 19% from the same period a year ago. Excluding residential building from year-to-date figures, new construction starts were still down 2%