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FMI Q2 Outlook Reveals Dip in Growth Projections for Certain Construction Markets

Annual put-in-place construction predictions shrink to $913 billion

In its new "Q2-2013 Construction Outlook," FMI, Raleigh, N.C., reported that the strength of individual markets is shifting, reducing annual construction-put-in-place predictions to $913 billion — a 7% growth from 2012. This is down nearly $6 billion from the $918,897 million, 8% growth level estimated in the Q1’s Outlook. However, FMI does expect growth to return to a 8% growth level in 2014 with annual CPIP reaching $989 billion.

The major construction markets adjusted downward with lower expected growth are:

Residential (-1.8%) — FMI continues to forecast a 23% increase in construction put in place for single-family housing. However, multifamily housing has dropped from a strong increase of 42% in 2012 to a current 31% increase for 2013.

Commercial (-0.8%) — The current forecast calls for about a 1% drop in commercial construction from the Q1 forecast. However, this still represents a modest increase of 6%, to $49.8 billion for 2013. One of the contributing factors is that sales for retail and food service businesses is slower than initially anticipated.

Healthcare (-3.15%) — Contributing factors for the decrease include hospital beds per 1,000 people trending downward and shorter patient stays.

Amusement and recreation (-2.0%) — Given the belt-tightening attitude across the country right now, it will likely be much more difficult to get funding from taxes and municipalities to build new stadiums in the near future.

Sewage and water disposal (-3.8%) — Construction for sewage and waste disposal was off 2% in 2012. FMI forecasts another 2% drop in 2013. The ability to fund necessary water infrastructure improvements is central to the decline as many municipal water systems still depend on the tax base for funding.

Water supply (-3.2%) — Construction for water supply projects will drop 1% in 2013 after dropping 7% in 2012. On the bright side, in March the Senate Environmental and Public Works Committee unanimously approved a Water Resources Development Act, including a measure to create the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act. WIFIA would provide $50 million per year from 2014 to 2018 to help fund large-scale water infrastructure projects.

While there is no singular reason for the drop in these markets, FMI suggests there are a few economic concerns that touch all of them, including: the decline in public construction; expectations of more cuts as the sequestration continues; tight lending criteria; and consumers being cautious about increasing their debt load. For more information, download a full copy of the report.

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