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Construction Contracting Up 9 Percent in June

August 3, 1987

NEW YORK (AP) _ Construction contracting rose 9 percent in June after two months of decline, led by gains in public works projects and commercial building, according to a report released Tuesday.

Construction contracting was valued at an annualized rate of $253.6 billion, said the F.W. Dodge division of McGraw-Hill Information Systems Co.

A McGraw-Hill spokesman noted that the figures represent the value of contracts signed for work that is to get underway in the next 30 days.

Non-building construction - that of public works and utilities - posted a sharp 19 percent increase during the month to an annualized rate of $55.2 billion. The company attributed the gain to increased sewer and water project construction.

Contracting for non-residential building was up 13 percent, with most of the increase coming from increased contracting for stores, warehouses, offices and other commercial structures.

Residential building held at an annualized value of $109.4 billion, 1 percent above May’s figure but nearly 15 percent below its peak earlier in the year when interest rates were lower.

Overall, however, ″the June recovery of contracting revived a sagging second quarter in which high interest rates dominated the construction sector,″ said George A. Christie, vice president and chief economist for F.W. Dodge.

Total contracts for the first six months of the year were valued at an annualized rate of $122.8 billion, about even with the same period in 1986.

Regionally during the first six months of the year, the Northeast and the North Central states showed gains in construction contracting of 4 percent and 6 percent respectively, while the Southeast posted a smaller increase when compared with year-earlier figures.

Construction contracting declined slightly in the Southwest and fell 4 percent in the West in the year’s first half when compared to the first half of 1986.

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