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Construction index slips in April

Keywords: Tags  construction, construction starts, McGraw Hill Financial, Dodge Index, public works, residential construction, nonresidential construction, Frank Haflich

LOS ANGELES — An increase in nonresidential construction starts wasn’t enough to offset a decline in public works in April, resulting in a 1-point slip in the benchmark Dodge Index.

Nonresidential building starts rose 6 percent to an annualized $144.3 billion in April after a "weak" March, according to the McGraw Hill Construction division of New York-based McGraw Hill Financial Inc. But public works construction fell 15 percent, as highway and bridge construction were off 25 percent after a 31-percent increase in March.

Total starts for the first four months of 2013 were down 5 percent year on year, due almost entirely to a decline in electric utility starts.

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