Construction Forecast

United States

Bernie Markstein
Comment from Construction Spending Inches up in March
Notes from Bernie Markstein, RCD US Chief Economist
May 24, 2012

A twitter follower responded to RCD Chief Economist Bernard Markstein’s recent article Construction Spending Inches up in March.

Compare March data to expected based on any year in last 8 not the Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate (SAAR) and see that we just had the worst March in 8 years. Isn’t it down not up?

No one is satisfied with the recovery to date. The best that can be said is that the economy and commercial construction in general is headed upward, which sure beats the alternative. Anyone who has heard one of my presentations or watched our recent forecast webcast knows that commercial construction is generally way below the level of activity just a few years ago. Note also that various tables in our construction forecast show the percentage change of recent spending against the same month a year ago.

There is no attempt to sugar coat or hide our current situation. Seasonally adjusted numbers can have their problems (which we have pointed out in the past), but they also can help you pick up a change in the underlying trend that not seasonally adjusted data might mask.

Finally, remember that different parts of the country or parts of the business can be experiencing widely different levels of activity, especially in a slow recovery like this. The construction spending numbers in our forecast are national numbers and are only available on a national level, although Reed does have a lot of local information, which helps us form our forecast.

News & Analysis of the US Construction Market

05/23 - U.S. Home Resales Brought Smiles In April
05/22 - Construction Spending Inches up in March
05/22 - Heavy Engineering (Non-Building) Construction Spending Down for the Third Month in a Row
05/22 - Nonresidential Building Construction Down Slightly in March
05/22 - New Residential Construction Spending Continues to Improve
05/22 - Twenty major upcoming courthouse and jail/prison construction projects
05/18 - Much of the economy, inflation included, is on hold until Greece decides its fate
05/18 - RSMeans’ dollar-per-square-foot construction costs for four types of recreational buildings
05/16 - U.S. home starts in April added to other generally good news
05/16 - Neither retail trade nor inflation in the U.S. surprised in April
05/10 - The U.S. foreign trade deficit worsened in March but that may be a good thing
05/01 - Equity Markets Take Stock in April While Manufacturing Wavers
04/26 - Construction Spending Continues to Fall in February
04/26 - Heavy Engineering (Non-Building) Construction Spending Drops Again in February
04/26 - Nonresidential Building Construction Spending Fell for the Second Month in a Row in February

Construction Market Forecasts Available from Reed Construction Data

US Construction Forecast

Delivers the most timely construction industry activity in a dynamic, quarterly format that combines historical data, current year projections and forward-looking forecasts.

US Starts Database

A comprehensive source of construction activity statistics designed to give you the most important business planning information in a highly efficient and effective way.

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