County construction contracts dive 70%
BY TIM MEKEEL, Business Editor
Construction contracts in Lancaster County remained depressed in February, a new report shows.
Contracts fell 70 percent in February, McGraw-Hill Construction reported Friday, declining for the seventh consecutive month.
Looking over a longer time frame, the February data means local contracts have tumbled in 27 of the last 33 months.
The new numbers do not bode well for the economy, as construction activity is a leading catalyst of economic growth.
Total contracts signed for future building here were $10 million, down from $34 million in February 2012, the data firm said.
Nonresidential contracts got most of the blame, collapsing to zero from February 2012's $18.4 million.
That follows a 90 percent plunge for nonresidential contracts in January.
But residential contracts in February were down sharply, too, sliding 36 percent to $10 million from $15.6 million a year earlier.
With the February figures in the books, 2013 has gotten off to an anemic start.
Total contracts for the first two months were down 63 percent to $19.7 million from $53.2 million in the initial two months of 2012.
Again, nonresidential contracts were the culprit. They plunged 99 percent to $175,000 from $20.2 million in the comparable 2012 period.
Residential contracts, though, were nothing to brag about either. They were off 41 percent to $19.5 million from $33 million.