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New construction starts fell 9 percent to a seasonally adjusted $817.4 billion in July compared to an elevated pace reported in June, according to Dodge Data & Analytics.
The latest month's decline followed strong gains for total construction starts during the previous two months, with May up 14 percent and June up 11 percent, the researcher said. By major sector, nonresidential building dropped 22 percent after soaring 59 percent in June.
The other two major sectors in July held close to their June amounts, with residential building up 2 percent and nonbuilding construction unchanged. During the first seven months of 2018, total construction starts on an unadjusted basis were $471.4 billion, up 2 percent from the same period a year ago.
The July statistics produced a reading of 173 for the Dodge Index, down from 190 in June, which was the highest level so far during 2018.