Contracting for new construction in January advanced 5% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $480.2 billion, according to the F.W. Dodge Division of The McGraw-Hill Companies. Healthy gains were reported for nonresidential building and nonbuilding construction, such as public works and utilities.
Nonresidential building jumped 10% to $183.2 billion during the month. Much of the growth came from the institutional side with school construction up 13% and health care facilities up 17%. Increased contracting also occurred in the church construction sector, up 11%; amusement-related projects, up 32%; and public buildings such as courthouses and detention facilities, up 49%.