Non-residential construction posted a 5 percent gain, over the month before, with office construction advancing a significant 24 percent between January and February.
Those numbers, according to the most recent Dodge Data & Analytics report, were particularly fueled by such large projects as a new $600 million data center in Clarksville, Tennessee for Google LLC; and a $220 million office project in Kansas City, signaling the beginning of work on the Cerner Corporation campus there.
A smaller 5 percent increase was recorded last month in new healthcare facility construction, but that figure follows a much larger 52 percent jump in January in this sector.
Despite these positive numbers, new construction in the electric utility/gas plant category, along with river/harbor development work, was sharply down in February.
Crunching all the numbers, the Dodge report records a 3 percent decline in new construction nationally, a number marginally better over the 2 percent posted in January. But these numbers come on the heels of a healthy 12 percent increase in December.
Despite the recent downward trend, Robert Murray, chief economist for Dodge, said in a statement that projects in the public works and electric utilities category, “given their inherent volatility,” are likely to “bounce back over the next month or two.”
By Garry Boulard
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