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Construction Slides in August

October 3, 2001
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ALEXANDRIA, VA — The Census Bureau reported that the value of construction in August totaled $845.5 billion, a 1% decrease from July, and nearly a 3% drop from the year’s high in April. “These figures show that construction, as well as other sectors, had stopped growing even before the tragedies of September 11,” said Ken Simonson, chief economist for General Contractors of America. “Unfortunately, those events are likely to put a halt to many construction projects until owners can reassess their financial situation. I expect to see a further decline in construction across the board, followed by very limited categories of expansion in the next few months.”

Simonson said August’s decline was broad-based. The value of nonresidential private buildings, estimated at $196.7 billion in August, shrank by 3% from July and 13% from its peak in March. Highway construction dropped 10% from July to August, offsetting small gains in other categories of public construction, and residential private construction has slipped, and is now 3% below its high-water mark in February.

For more information, go to www.census.gov/pub/const/c30 curr.pdf (website).

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