The commercial real estate and property investment firm James Long LaSalle Incorporated is predicting a continued strong domestic construction market for the duration of 2020, with an uptick in public projects.
In its new 2020 Construction Outlook report, the Chicago-based firm is also forecasting that a shortage of labor will continue to plague the industry, with material prices expected to increase between now and the end of the year.
Those material costs could go up by anywhere from 2 to 3 percent.
In an interview with the publication Construction Dive, Henry D’Esposito, construction research lead for the firm, additionally predicted an increasing industry embrace of new technology, forecasting that it will soon become the norm to see the regular use of “cutting-edge technology” most especially in large projects, adding that companies not doing so “would mean leaving efficiencies on the table.”
While the report is projecting a less than 2 percent growth in nonresidential construction spending this year, it also expects to see a jump in public projects.
Those projects will be ongoing in all government segments including education, healthcare, and transportation.
The report predicts what has become an industry mantra in recent years: slow and steady growth, building upon previous increases recorded in both 2018 and 2019.
The sporadic nature of the business, with companies taking on work where they can find it, was additionally seen in the 1.2 percent decline in private spending on projects last year, a drop that was more than compensated for by a 10.1 percent increase in public spending.
By Garry Boulard
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