New construction starts in April held within 1% of the March volume, according to McGraw-Hill Construction, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies. Total construction for April was reported at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $545.4 billion, a slight 0.3% below the upwardly revised $547.1 billion for March. April featured a modest decline for residential building, offset by small gains for nonresidential building and public works.
"The construction industry continues to move at a healthy clip, supported by the strong amount of single family homebuilding," stated Robert A. Murray, vice president of economic affairs for McGraw-Hill Construction. "To a small degree, April witnessed the broad pattern that's expected to be present during 2004 - single family housing settling back from an exceptionally high volume, while nonresidential building registers modest improvement. The prospects for the public works sector are less certain during 2004, as the next federal transportation bill still awaits passage, but at least April showed modest strengthening after the weak activity during 2004's first three months."