Commercial construction starts expected to improve in 2011

January 2011 Vol. 66 No. 1

McGraw-Hill Construction, part of The McGraw-Hill Companies, has released its 2011 Construction Outlook, which predicts an increase in overall U.S. construction starts for next year. The level of construction starts in 2011 is expected to advance 8 percent to $445.5 billion, following the 2 percent decline predicted for 2010.

“While the economy is still facing headwinds, the stage is being set for construction to see modest improvement in 2011 from this year’s very weak activity,” said Robert A. Murray, vice president of economic affairs at McGraw-Hill Construction, addressing nearly 400 construction executives and professionals at the 72nd annual Outlook 2011 Executive Conference in Washington. “We’re turning the corner, slowly. 2011 will be the first year of renewed growth for overall construction activity, and 2010 becomes the final year of a very lengthy and unusual construction cycle.”

The 2011 Outlook details the forecasts for manufacturing, public works and electric utilities, as follows.
• Manufacturing buildings will increase 9 percent in dollars and 11 percent 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.
For more information on these and other construction sectors in the 2011 Outlook, visit http://construction.ecnext.com/coms2/summary_0249-360828_ITM_analytics.