Slowdown in 2013 Nonresidential Building Activity

With slower than expected activity in the nonresidential construction sector in the first half of the year, the projections for growth in spending have been scaled back. Led by the hotel and retail project categories, the commercial sector looks largely unchanged, but a noteworthy drop in demand for institutional projects has caused participants in the American Institute of Architects’ (AIA) semi-annual Consensus Construction Forecast, a survey of the nation’s leading construction forecasters, to reduce projections for spending to a 2.3 percent increase in 2013, with next year’s projections raised to 7.6 percent.

“A disappointing recovery of the U.S. economy is limiting need for new nonresidential building activity,” says Dr. Kermit Baker, the AIA’s chief economist. “Optimism for a stronger performance next year is based on the recent increase in domestic energy production, the boost to the general economy from a resurgent housing market and improving employment figures that should help drive demand in the design and construction sectors.”

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