Dodge Outlook Report Predicts Deceleration in Total Construction Growth Will Continue, Reflecting a Mixed Pattern by Project Type
NATIONAL HARBOR, MD – October 25, 2018 – Dodge Data & Analytics (https://www.construction.com) today released its 2019 Dodge Construction Outlook, a mainstay in construction industry forecasting and business planning. The report predicts that total U.S. construction starts for 2019 will be $808 billion, staying essentially even with the $807 billion estimated for 2018.
“Over the past three years, the expansion for the U.S. construction industry has shown deceleration in its rate of growth, a pattern that typically takes place as an expansion matures,” stated Robert A. Murray, chief economist for Dodge Data & Analytics. “After advancing 11% to 14% each year from 2012 through 2015, total construction starts climbed 7% in both 2016 and 2017, and a 3% increase is estimated for 2018. There are, of course, mounting headwinds affecting construction, namely rising interest rates and higher material costs, but for now these have been balanced by the stronger growth for the U.S. economy, some easing of bank lending standards, still healthy market fundamentals for commercial real estate, and greater state financing for school construction and enhanced federal funding for public works.”
“An important question going into 2019 is whether deceleration is followed by a period of high level stability or a period of decline. For 2019, it’s expected that growth for the U.S. economy won’t be quite as strong as what’s taking place in 2018, as the benefits of tax cuts begin to wane. Short term interest rates will rise, as the Federal Reserve continues to move monetary policy towards a more neutral stance. Long-term interest rates will also rise, reflecting higher inflationary expectations by the financial markets. At the same time, any erosion in market fundamentals for commercial real estate will stay modest. In addition, the greater funding from state and local bond measures passed in recent years will still be present, and it’s likely that federal spending for construction programs will increase once all the federal appropriations bills for fiscal 2019 are finalized. In this environment, it’s forecast that growth for construction starts will decelerate further, but not yet make the transition to the point where the overall volume of activity declines. For 2019, total construction starts are forecast to hold basically steady at $808 billion. By major sector in dollar terms, residential building will be down 2%, nonresidential building will match its 2018 amount, and nonbuilding construction will increase 3%.”
The pattern of construction starts by more specific segments is the following:
The 2019 Dodge Construction Outlook was presented at the 80th annual Outlook Executive Conference held by Dodge Data & Analytics at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, MD. Copies of the report with additional details by building sector can be ordered here or by calling (800) 591-4462.
: Dodge Data & Analytics is North America’s leading provider of analytics and software-based workflow integration solutions for the construction industry. Building product manufacturers, architects, engineers, contractors, and service providers leverage Dodge to identify and pursue unseen growth opportunities and execute on those opportunities for enhanced business performance. Whether it’s on a local, regional or national level, Dodge makes the hidden obvious, empowering its clients to better understand their markets, uncover key relationships, size growth opportunities, and pursue those opportunities with success. The company’s construction project information is the most comprehensive and verified in the industry. Dodge is leveraging its 100-year-old legacy of continuous innovation to help the industry meet the building challenges of the future. To learn more, visit www.construction.com.
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