New construction starts in October climbed 21 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $864.0 billion, according to Dodge Data & Analytics. The substantial increase followed three straight months of decline, during which the pace of total construction starts fell 22 percent from the exceptionally strong volume reported back in June.

Nonresidential building in October surged 53 percent, as several very large projects lifted the manufacturing plant, office building and transportation terminal categories.

Nonbuilding construction in October advanced 14 percent, supported by growth for public works while the electric utility/gas plant category bounced back from depressed activity in September.  Residential building in October edged up a slight 2 percent, helped by improvement for multifamily housing. During the first ten months of 2018, total construction starts on an unadjusted basis were $679.1 billion, up 1 percent from the same period a year ago. The year-to-date gain for total construction starts was restrained by a 45 percent slide for the electric utility/gas plant category. If the electric utility/gas plant category is excluded, total construction starts during the first ten months of 2018 would be up 3 percent relative to the same period a year ago.

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