8% increase in construction forecasted for 2011

McGraw-Hill Construction is forecasting an 8 percent rise in construction for 2011 in its 2011 Construction Outlook report released last week.  Details of the report were offered by Robert A. Murray, vice president of economic affairs at McGraw-Hill Construction, addressing at the 72nd annual Outlook 2011 Executive Conference in Washington.

The 2011 gain represents $445.5 billion. That compares to the boom-year high in 2006 of $689.3 billion.

McGraw-Hill also expects the U.S. economy to grow by 2.5 percent in 2011.

Other details of the report:
    •    Single family housing in 2011 will climb 27 percent in dollars, corresponding to a 25 percent increase in the number of units to 565,000 (McGraw-Hill Construction basis).
    •    Multifamily housing will rise 24 percent in dollars and 23 percent in units, continuing to move gradually upward.
    •    Commercial buildings will increase 16 percent, following a three-year decline, which dropped contracting 62 percent in dollar terms. The levels of activity expected for stores, warehouses, offices and hotels in 2011 will still be quite weak by historical standards.
    •    The institutional building market will slip an additional 1percent in 2011, retreating for the third straight year. The difficult fiscal climate for states and localities will continue to dampen school construction, although the healthcare facilities category should see moderate growth.
    •    Manufacturing buildings will increase 9 percent in dollars and 11percent in square feet.
    •    Public works construction will drop 1 percent, given the fading benefits of the federal stimulus act for highway and bridge construction.
    •    Electric utilities will slide 10 percent, falling for the third year in a row.

PRIMARY SOURCES: PR NewsWire, McGraw-Hill Construction

Related article: 31 states report construction employment declines for August and September

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