Health-care subsector leads institutional building recovery
Suddenly resurgent spending on new construction, additions, and renovation work in the health-care sector has been a major contributor to the strong growth recorded in overall nonresidential building construction so far during 2000.
Spending for private health-care facilities totaled an estimated $8.52 billion through the first seven months of this year, an improvement of 10.4 percent over the total for the same period in 1999. And public health construction spending reached $2.55 billion over the first seven months of 2000, up 14.6 percent from the previous year.
The institutional building sector-where spending had languished over the past two years-also made remarkable progress over the first seven months of 2000. Through July of 2000, spending on private and public institutional facilities was up a sharp 11.1 percent from its total for the first seven months of 1999.
The health-care sector saw construction spending beat year-earlier totals for six of the first seven months of 2000, to pull the sector ahead of its year-to-date spending level for the first time since the early months of 1998.
Overall institutional construction spending should continue to improve during 2000 and 2001 as the health sector finally shows signs of vitality and as public funding for buildings such as prisons and schools continues to expand.