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Construction activity steady, material prices to rise

Post Time:Nov 12,2013Classify:Industry NewsView:38

Recent government data and forecasts from industry economists bode well for nonresidential construction in the remainder of 2006 and into 2007. While material costs will likely continue their climb, nonresidential construction will rise an estimated 6.3 percent in 2006 and 6.2 percent in 2007, according to predictions from the Consensus Construction Forecast Panel of the American Institute of Architects in Washington, D.C. Kermit Baker, chief economist for AIA, attributed the panel’s optimistic estimates in part to the coming swell of Hurricane Katrina rebuilding and a positive regional outlook forecast from the Federal Reserve Board, according to a June 30 AIA report. Ken Simonson, chief economist for the Associated General Contractors of America in Arlington, Va., echoed those findings during a presentation at the June 22 AGC Building Division meeting in Colorado Springs, Colo. Simonson based his predictions about nonresidential building on data released June 1 from the U.S. Census Bureau and June 2 from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. According to the Census figures, commercial retail construction saw higher numbers in January to April 2006, with multi-retail construction, including shopping malls and big-box retailers, up 37 percent compared to the same period last year. “For now, commercial construction appears to have bright prospects,” Simonson said in the report. “But worries remain that high fuel prices and ever-rising interest rates will force a cutback.” Office construction increased 8 percent compared to last year, however, Simonson speculated in the report that weakened job growth may cause this number to slip in the rest of the year. Hospital construction in the period jumped 22 percent over last year’s rate, boosted in part by five hospital projects across the country ranging from $90 million to $174 million, according to the report. The nonresidential market segment most likely to slip: multi-family construction, Simonson predicted in the report. According to Census data, multi-family construction was up 19 percent in the first four months of 2006 compared to the same time frame last year. However, several factors such as canceled condo conversions indicate that the market will suffer a slowdown in the remainder of the year, he said. Share this article:

Source: http://www.glassmagazine.com/news-item/commercial/construction-activity-steady-material-prices-riseAuthor:

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