Spending for the construction of public buildings other than educational and health facilities — prisons, fire stations, courthouses — expanded by 6.7 percent between 1999 and 2000, a rate well above the 2.6 percent increase recorded the previous year. Spending for all kinds of public and private institutional buildings totaled an estimated $132.5 billion last year, up more than 11 percent from the 1999 level.
Government building construction is expected to grow much more slowly this year, following the 2000 surge, as declining tax revenues and economic uncertainty cause authorities to put some pending projects on hold. During January 2001, total spending for government buildings, excluding education and health, was 2.7 percent higher than during the first month of 2000. Between January 1999 and January 2000, spending growth in this building sector was running at better than 13 percent.