May construction up 3 percent, McGraw-Hill reports

Construction posted an increase in May.
Construction posted an increase in May.
Construction equipment operators might have gotten a bit of a break in May, according to a recent report.

McGraw-Hill Construction said that at a seasonally adjusted yearly rate, project starts increased 3 percent when compared to April. May's total came to $406.3 billion, with nonresidential projects having a better showing.

Still, Robert Murray, vice president of economic affairs for the company, said total volume for nonresidential construction will remain low through the year. May saw this type of building increase 19 percent to an annual rate of $145.6 billion, while April saw a drop of 21 percent.

"Much of this year’s upward movement is expected to come from public works construction, which lost momentum in May after earlier gains," Murray said.

The company reported that residential building increased 1 percent in May, while multifamily construction rose 9 percent.

A number of organizations in the industry expect the residential sector to see sustained consumer interest as the result of lower mortgage rates, despite the end of a tax credit for homebuyers. Improvements in unemployment will also play a factor.ADNFCR-2034-ID-19859853-ADNFCR