New construction starts decreased 7 percent in June from the previous month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $595.1 billion, according to Dodge Data & Analytics.

Residential building edged down with reduced activity reported for both single-family and multifamily housing. Meanwhile, nonresidential building registered moderate growth in June after sliding back in April and May.

Through the first six months of 2016, total construction starts on an unadjusted basis were $318.1 billion, down 11 percent from the same period a year ago. The January-June period of 2015 included 13 projects valued each at $1 billion or more.

June’s data lowered the Dodge Index to 126, compared to 135 in May. After strengthening in this year’s first quarter, the Dodge Index fluctuated in the second quarter, rebounding in May after April’s decline, followed by another decline in June.

“The construction start statistics on a monthly basis continue to show an up-and-down pattern,” says Robert A. Murray, chief economist for Dodge. “This has often been due to the presence or absence of very large projects for a given month, which most recently applies to the May and June behavior for public works and electric utilities.”

He says over a broader time frame, the year-to-date comparisons during the first half of 2016 were skewed by the 13 “exceptionally large” projects.

“There were fewer such projects during the second half of 2015, which should help the year-to-date comparisons as 2016 proceeds,” he says. “In addition, last year’s third quarter witnessed a broader slowdown for construction starts, as investment grew more cautious due to mounting concerns about the global economy and the continued drop in energy prices at that time.”

Murray adds that the generally weaker third quarter of 2015 will also help the year-to-date comparisons for construction starts as 2016 proceeds.

“While investment remains cautious, some uncertainty has been alleviated with energy prices stabilizing during this year’s first half,” he says. “In addition, the anxiety created in late June by Great Britain’s vote to leave the European Union has eased, as shown by the recent rebound in stock prices. There continue to be several supportive factors worth noting for construction activity this year—long-term interest rates have moved lower, commercial development is being financed by multiple sources, construction bond measures are providing funding for institutional building and public works projects, and the multiyear federal transportation bill is in place.”

Residential building, at $268.6 billion (annual rate) slipped 2 percent in June, with slightly diminished activity for both single-family and multifamily housing relative to May. Single-family housing in June settled back 1 percent. Multifamily housing in June retreated 5 percent after climbing 16 percent in May. There were ten multifamily projects valued each at $100 million or more that reached groundbreaking in June.

Nonresidential building in June grew 6 percent to $180.8 billion (annual rate), strengthening after its April and May declines. The commercial categories as a group rose 9 percent in June, with the upward push coming from hotels and office buildings. Hotel construction advanced 36 percent after a weak May, and office construction increased 19 percent in June. Stores and warehouses both retreated in June, sliding 4 and 17 percent respectively. The manufacturing plant category weakened further in June, falling 29 percent.

The institutional side of the nonresidential building market increased 7 percent in June, reflecting a mixed pattern by project type. Healthcare facilities climbed 22 percent, and educational facilities edged up 1 percent from May’s pace. The relatively small transportation terminal category jumped 95 percent from a weak May. Losing momentum in June were public buildings (courthouses and detention facilities), down 4 percent; churches, down 18 percent; and amusement-related projects, down 23 percent.

The 11-percent drop for total construction starts on an unadjusted basis during the January-June period of 2016 reflected reduced activity for both nonbuilding construction and nonresidential building, compared to their elevated pace of a year ago. Nonresidential building fell 19 percent year-to-date, with commercial building down 7 percent, institutional building down 12 percent and manufacturing building down 70 percent. Residential building continues to be the one major sector that’s advancing year-to-date, rising 4 percent, with an 8-percent gain for single-family housing outweighing a 4-percent decline for multifamily housing.