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Significant Downturn in Nonresidential Construction Activity Projected through 2010

July 13, 2009

Feeling the effects of the struggling overall U.S. economy, nonresidential construction spending is expected to decrease by 16 percent in 2009 and drop by another almost 12 percent in 2010 in inflation-adjusted terms. Commercial projects will see the most significant decrease in activity. In contrast, most institutional building categories are expected to see much more modest declines over this period. These are highlights from the American Institute of Architects' (AIA) semi-annual Consensus Construction Forecast, a survey of the nation’s leading construction forecasters. 

“While there are some indications that the overall economy is beginning to recover, nonresidential construction activity typically lags behind the rest of the economy,” says AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker. “Commercial facilities, such as hotels, retail establishments, and offices, will feel the decline most dramatically. The institutional market will fare much better as stimulus funding becomes available for education, healthcare, and government facilities.”

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