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Domestic construction starts decline marginally in June

Keywords: Tags  construction, McGraw-Hill, Frank Haflich

LOS ANGELES — U.S. construction starts edged down 1 percent in June as nonresidential building slowed slightly, according to a key index.

June construction starts were at a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of $489.5 billion compared with $494.4 billion in May, the McGraw-Hill Construction division of New York- based McGraw-Hill Financial said this week.

Nonresidential starts in June were off 2 percent from May to $151.3 billion, while residential building activity fell 4 percent to $200 billion. However, nonbuilding construction was up 4 percent to $138.3 billion, due primarily to the beginning of "several very large bridge projects," according to McGraw-Hill.

Despite a 28-percent jump in residential construction, total starts for the first six months were down 2 percent to $233.8 billion, as nonbuilding construction fell 24 percent and nonresidential construction was off 9 percent. But McGraw-Hill nonetheless forecast that, assuming the decline in these sectors moderates in the second half, it expects a "single-digit" increase in 2013 over last year.

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