During its annual Outlook Executive Conference, Oct. 25, in Washington, D.C., McGraw-Hill Construction forecast a 2 percent decline in U.S. construction spending for 2008
Sources: McGraw-Hill Construction, New York; CP staff
During its annual Outlook Executive Conference, Oct. 25, in Washington, D.C., McGraw-Hill Construction forecast a 2 percent decline in U.S. construction spending for 2008, following an 8 percent drop the industry exhibited this year. Those figures fall within 1 percent of cement consumption trends Portland Cement Association recently noted toward 2008.
“The credit crunch that emerged at mid-2007 continues to be a major concern for construction and the overall economy,” said McGraw-Hill’s Robert Murray, vice president, Economic Affairs. “As a result, we’re now predicting downturns in the previously resilient multifamily and commercial segments, as well as continued weakness in single-family home construction.” Among positives for 2008 are transportation projects, he added, where moderate growth of 3 percent–on top of a 5 percent increase in 2007–is likely amid renewed emphasis on infrastructure maintenance and upgrades. Financing from public sources will stay generally supportive, and the growth of public-private partnerships also offers the potential for greater funding. Finally, Murray noted, growth in “green” construction practices means that the demand for sustainable building design and materials will continue to rise.
In hard numbers, McGraw-Hill’s 2008 Construction Outlook calls for the following changes against 2007 figures by market segment: single-family housing, 3 percent dollar volume drop, 6 percent decline in number of units; multifamily housing, 8 percent dollar volume drop, 11 percent decline in units; commercial building, 6 percent dollar volume drop, 11 percent net square footage decline; institutional buildings, 4 percent dollar volume increase, 1 percent square footage boost; and, manufacturing buildings, 11 percent dollar volume drop (following 2007 surge of 40 percent), 5 percent square footage boost. The 2008 Construction Outlook is available for purchase at www.construction.com/Outlook2008/