Gilbane publishes Fall 2012 construction industry economic report

Report outlines fluctuation in construction spending; predicts continued movement toward recovery.

October 04, 2012 |

Gilbane Building Co. has released the Fall 2012 edition of Construction Economics -- Market Conditions in Construction. Based on an array of economic data, construction starts, and material cost trends, this free report indicates an increase in construction spending over last year but cautions of an expected downturn again in early 2013. The Architectural Billings Index (ABI), which predicts activity 9-12 months out, indicates increasing spending nearly through the end of the year before another slowdown.

"Jobs continue to be the difficulty in this construction recovery. They are at a near standstill, while spending continues a slow climb," says Ed Zarenski, the report's author and a 40-year veteran of the construction industry. "A nugget of good news, though, is that climb may mean productivity is increasing. Spending is up only 2.5% since the beginning of the year, but up 6% from a year ago. Supported by positive growth trends, contractors may be able to recover a bit of lost margins."

According to the report, the construction industry has seen a small but continued growth in contractor's margins that started a very slow return to positive in 2011. Material price increases and labor cost growth will still contribute to escalation. Contractors' building costs "charged" in 2012 are above labor and material cost increases, signaling a continued movement towards recovery of more normalized margins.

Among the topics covered in this comprehensive report are:

  • Construction Starts, Spending, & Costs
  • Material Price Movement
  • Trends and Costs for Structural Steel, Recycling Steel, & Copper
  • Architectural Billings Index
  • Current Inflation Forecast
  • ENR Index -- BCI History

This free report is available for download at +

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