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January nonres starts jump, Reed says; stimulus outlays vary; retail signs mixed

Post Time:Feb 15,2010Classify:Industry NewsView:182

The value of nonresidential construction starts in January climbed 6.3 percentfrom December and 20 percent from January 2009, Reed Construction Data reported on Thursday [Feb. 11], based on data it compiled. “January starts increased 10 percent for nonresidential buildings from December but only 2 percent for heavy construction projects. Both highway and water/sewer starts fell slightly, but there were offsetting gains for airports and power projects,” Chief Economist Jim Haughey wrote. “Starts jumped 47 percent for commercial buildings, reversing the large drop in November. ... Manufacturing starts, which are heavily energy-related, plunged to only 15 percent of the 2009 monthly average. ... Commercial starts continue to be restrained by the inability of some developers to obtain credit. This problem will worsen at least until mid-2010 as lenders continue to withdraw from real estate under pressure from rapidly rising commercial mortgage defaults. RCD expects this restraint to be more than offset by the rising expected profitability of commercial property when it is completed nine months or more ahead. By contrast, the availability of financing for institutional buildings will not improve in the first half of 2010. Stimulus plan funding will not be significant until late in the year. Funding in regular budget appropriations is now declining at all levels of government. Hospital and higher education generate their own funding and will not be impacted by reduced government funds,” according to a Feb. 15 Data DIGest report.

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