Overall spending on construction projects is expected to increase this year by at least 4.4 percent, the Washington-based American Institute of Architects is reporting.
The group’s Consensus Construction Forecast Panel sees an increase in both industrial and institutional segments for 2019, with spending in almost all categories rising by anywhere from 1.9 percent to 6.8 percent.
The only segment projected to see a decline for the new year is in religious institution construction, which the panel thought would be off by 2.6 percent.
Three of the largest increases will come in public safety construction at 6.8 percent, education construction at 5.5 percent, and in new office space, at 5.1 percent.
Retail construction, meanwhile, is expected to show a 1.9 percent increase, with healthcare facilities work up by 4.0 percent
Despite these strong numbers, the panel is predicting decreases in all of these sectors for calendar year 2020, with one of the biggest drops taking place in the office sector, dropping to a 1.2 percent growth rate, and amusement recreation projects falling from an increase of 4.4 percent this year to just 0.6 percent in 2020.
In a statement Kermit Baker, the chief economist for the AIA, said, “Though the economy has been performing very well recently, trends in business confidence scores are red flags that suggest a slowdown is likely for 2020.”
He adds: “These signals may be temporary responses to negative short term conditions, but historically they have preceded a more widespread downturn.”
By Garry Boulard
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