Gilbane Building Company has published the Spring 2013 edition of Construction Economics – Market Conditions in Construction. Based on an array of economic data, construction starts and material cost trends, the data is the most positive the company has seen in recent years.
According to the report, the monthly rate of construction spending is up 20 percent in 24 months and increased in 18 of the last 24 months, which is a good leading indicator for new construction work in Q3-Q4 2013. Other highlights include:
- Residential spending will take the lead in 2013, nonresidential spending will lag.
- Public spending will decline. Private spending will lead the charge in 2013.
- As spending continues to increase, even moderate growth in activity will allow contractors to pass along more material costs and increase margins. When activity picks up in all sectors, escalation will begin to advance rapidly.
- Predicted spending growth of 8.2 percent for commercial markets, 5.2 percent for office and 2.3 percent for healthcare.
- Construction jobs grew by 150,000 in the past five months. Just to meet the needs of the predicted residential building expansion, the workforce needs to grow by 750,000 jobs in the next two years, faster than the entire construction workforce has ever grown in history.
- Future escalation, to support labor growth, materials demand and to capture increasing margins, will be higher than normal labor/material cost growth. Lagging regions may take longer to experience high escalation. Residential escalation will be near the upper end of the range.
This free report and its executive summary are available for download here.