According to a recent report from Dodge Data & Analytics, new U.S. construction starts increased 14% in September from the previous month. A construction start is defined as the date that the project reaches the start stage. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and in particular Pittsburgh, can be credited with aiding this increase. The increase in construction starts can be attributable primarily to the growth experienced in the nonresidential building sector, which increased 37% from August. The top nonresidential project start belongs to the $6 billion ethane cracker plant being built outside of Pittsburgh. Additionally, the new terminal at LaGuardia Airport and an office tower in Manhattan, combining a total value just below $6 billion, also helped push the nonresidential sector to a second straight strong month.
The residential building sector experienced slight increases in both single and multi-family starts, resulting in a 1% increase from August to September. Despite the start of several large projects, in particular the George Washington Bridge in New York and several gas-fired power plants, the nonbuilding construction sector declined 6% from the previous month. In terms of dollars spent on highway and bridge construction, the top five states were California, Florida, New York, Pennsylvania and Texas. Pennsylvania also saw construction begin on two gas-fired power plants totaling $1.5 billion in September.