Nonresidential, office, and school construction all made gains

McGraw-Hill Construction recently reported that new construction starts were up 4% in October, which is an increase from a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $568 billion in September to $592.7 billion. On an unadjusted basis, total construction for the first 10 months of 2004 was up 9% over the same period last year.

The company also reported that nonresidential building construction increased to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $163.3 billion, which is 11% ahead of the September rate of $147 billion; residential building was down 1%, dropping from a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $331.6 billion in September to $329.7 billion; construction starts for the major commercial categories saw increases, with stores up 5%, warehouses up 3%, and hotels up 18%. And the office category increased 58%, primarily due to the start of projects in New York, Kansas City, Mo., and Des Moines, Iowa.

McGraw-Hill also noted that church construction dropped 7%, while construction on public buildings, such as courthouses and detention facilities, fell 25%. However, school construction was up 16%, after achieving minimal gains in September. Growth was also reported for amusement-related projects, which increased 18%, and health-care facilities, which jumped 21%.