Year-to-date construction starts through April are down slightly compared to the same period in 2016, according to ConstructConnect.

ConstructConnect, a provider of construction information and technology solutions in North America, reports that starts, excluding residential activity, were down 1.6 percent versus the first four months of last year. This includes an 11.1-percent decline in the commercial segment and a 3.6-percent dip in institutional.

Year-to-date starts in the educational facilities sector declined by 5.3 percent, and hospitals are down 32.9 percent, ConstructConnect chief economist Alex Carrick says in the report.

Private office buildings have seen a 3.7-percent increase, while hotels/motels are 38.9-percent ahead of last year. The retail/shopping category is down 52.8 percent through the first four months.

Carrick says the 12-month moving average shows non-residential “in a bit of a tailspin, being led down by retail and hospitals/clinics especially.” However, heavy engineering is on an upward path and “has nearly saved the day” in the overall construction totals.