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Dodge: Fueled by Industrial, Nonresidential Construction Starts Rise 16 Percent in August

BEDFORD, MASS. — Total nonresidential construction starts across the country rose by 16 percent from July to August thanks in large part to 201 percent growth in industrial starts, according to the latest report from Massachusetts-based Dodge Data & Analytics.

Among the largest industrial projects that contributed to the growth were Facebook’s $1 billion data center project in Gallatin, Tenn., and Texas Instruments’ $740 million fabrication plant in Richardson, Texas. Construction starts in the commercial category, which includes office, hospitality and mixed-use, rose by 36 percent for the month. On year-to-date basis, the volume of total nonresidential starts remains 24 percent lower than the first eight months of 2019.

“Construction starts continue to make up ground following the nadir of activity in April,” said Richard Branch, chief economist at Dodge. “The nascent recovery in starts, however, as summer turns to fall. The expiration of enhanced unemployment insurance benefits and small business loans that were provided in the CARES Act, the budget crises facing state and local governments and the impending expiration of the FAST Act on September 30 will all have a dampening effect on starts.”

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