Industry growth seen through 2017

ABC, AIA, NAHB economists present joint forecast in D.C.


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Economists from three of the biggest construction-related trade organizations in the country are predicting continued growth for the U.S. construction industry in 2017.

Anirban Basu, Associated Builders and Contractors’ chief economist, American Institute of Architects chief economist Kermit Baker and National Association of Home Builders chief economist Robert Dietz presented their joint economic forecast on Monday in Washington, D.C.

“Nonresidential construction spending growth will continue into the next year with an estimated increase in the range of 3 to 4 percent,” said Basu. “Growth will continue to be led by privately financed projects, with commercial construction continuing to lead the way. Energy-related construction will become less of a drag in 2017, while public spending will continue to be lackluster.”

Dietz of NAHB said his forecast shows single-family construction “expanding by more than 10 percent in 2016,” with the “robust” multifamily sector “leveling off.”

He said he expects “historically low mortgage interest rates and favorable demographics” to “keep the housing market moving forward at a gradual pace.” But he added that residential construction growth “will be constrained by shortages of labor and lots and rising regulatory costs.”

As for architectural firms, Baker said, their revenue “continues to grow, so prospects for the construction industry remain solid over the next 12 to 18 months.

He said, the single-family residential and the institutional building sectors “have the greatest potential for further expansion at present.”

An archived version of their joint presentation is available here.

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