Dive Brief:
Dive Insight:

“December starts revealed where the current strength in construction lies: manufacturing and infrastructure,” said Richard Branch, chief economist at Dodge, in a press release. “It is those segments that will provide insulation for the sector as the economy softens in 2023.”
Branch said that he expects higher interest rates to weigh on the economy and restrain construction starts in 2023, but “it’s encouraging to know that the new year is starting with a great deal of positive momentum.”
The buoyancy in the sector came just as construction pros received good news on the materials front. Construction input prices fell 2.7% in December, their largest drop since April 2020 early in the pandemic, signaling that meaningful relief from inflation may finally be materializing in the sector, even as recession fears remain.
The starts numbers also show how the construction sector generally – and commercial and infrastructure projects specifically – could offer contractors shelter from any brewing economic storm.
Starts activity in all nonbuilding categories gained in 2022, led by utility/gas plants, which rose 26%, according to Dodge, while highway and bridge starts were up 25% in the year. Environmental public works projects also increased by 15%.
The largest nonbuilding projects to break ground in December were:

For the year, nonresidential building construction rose 38% from 2021, led by the surging manufacturing sector, which rose 185% over the year. Commercial starts were also 25% higher in 2022, led by office and hotel activity. Institutional starts were 19% higher in 2022, led by improvements in healthcare and education starts.
The largest nonresidential building projects to break ground in December were:

Residential building starts remained flat in December, but multifamily starts gained 8%. Residential starts were 3% lower in 2022 when compared to 2021, but multifamily starts were up 25%. The largest multifamily structures to break ground in December were:

SOURCE: https://www.constructiondive.com/news/2023-begins-with-positive-momentum-for-construction/641186/