Future construction deals skyrocket in Feb.

In a good sign for New Hampshire’s construction industry, future building contracts in February totaled more than four times the amount they did in the same month last year.Future construction contracts totaled $218.3 million in New Hampshire in February, more than quadruple the $53.6 million recorded in February 2011 and two-and-a-half times more than the $82.4 million in January 2012, according to industry information service McGraw-Hill Construction, which releases the figures every month.The gigantic year-over-year jump is mostly attributable to a very significant year-over-year rise in nonbuilding contracts.Nonbuilding construction — which includes roads, bridges, sewers, dams and similar projects — spiked year over year, from just $8.1 million recorded in the state in February 2011 to $188.9 million in February 2012.Contracts in residential future construction also rose year over year, though much more slightly, from $15 million in February of last year to $18.6 million this February.The only sector that saw a year-over-year drop was nonresidential construction, which totaled $30.5 million last year and $10.8 million this February.Based on the first two months of the year, 2012 is showing significant improvement over 2011. Year to date, future construction contracts in 2012 total $300.1 million, up 63 percent from the $183.8 million recorded at the same time last year. — KATHLEEN CALLAHAN/NEW HAMPSHIRE BUSINESS REVIEW

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