New construction starts hit $565.1 billion for June 2004.

NEW YORK - New construction starts for June were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $565.1 billion, up 1 percent, according to McGraw-Hill Construction. During the first six months of 2004, total construction on an unadjusted basis was reported at $286.2 billion, a 10 percent gain compared to the same period a year ago.

"Non-building" construction for the month was up 22 percent to $96.1 billion. Gains were reported for most of the public works categories, including highways, up 9 percent; bridges, up 13 percent; river/harbor development, up 18 percent; and sewers, up 47 percent. The June non-building total also included increased activity by electric utilities, which increased 209 percent from May.

Nonresidential building was down 2 percent in June at $160.1 billion. Construction on transportation terminals was down 5 percent, health care facilities and churches were both down 9 percent, and amusement-related projects were down 52 percent from May. The commercial/industrial sector showed a mixed performance in June. Stores were down 7 percent, manufacturing buildings were down 12 percent and warehouses were down 13 percent.

Residential building was also down 2 percent to $308.9 billion for the month. Single-family housing held steady, while multifamily housing was down 12 percent from May.