Market forecasters are increasingly optimistic that recent gains in non-residential construction activity will be sustained, and the growth momentum in spending will continue to build as we move through 2013 and 2014.
The U.S. Commerce Department estimates total spending on non-residential buildings and infrastructure (including remodeling/retrofit work as well as new construction) totaled $566.8 billion last year, the highest total since 2009.
The most recent forecasts compiled by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Consensus Construction Forecast Panel show spending growth of 5 percent this year accelerating to 7.2 percent in 2014. Activity in the commercial subsector of the nonresidential building market is expected to lead the upturn, with predicted improvement of about 9 percent this year followed by a further gain of almost 11 percent in 2014.
Spending for industrial buildings is predicted to grow at about the same rate as the average for the overall nonresidential sector over 2013-2014, while activity is expected to expand more slowly for work on institutional buildings (with a significant share of these projects dependent upon funding from cash-strapped federal, state and municipal entities).