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North American Construction Industry Strongest
2002.11.14


North American Construction Industry Strongest

According to presenters at Reed Construction Data's North American Construction Forecast conference, the North American construction industry remains one of its strongest sectors.

Ken Simonson, chief economist of Associated General Contractors, expects the next several months to be very uneven for construction. Any construction related to consumer activity should remain strong and business-related construction will pick up gradually in 2003 if the economy continues to strengthen. However, government-funded projects are likely to diminish once current jobs are completed.

Simonson reported that there are two key indicators of construction industry health: employment and value put in place.

He says both factors are relatively flat in construction nationally. Supporting this view the Census Bureau reported that nationwide construction that was put in place for the first eight months of 2002 was virtually unchanged from the same period of 2001.

The seasonally adjusted figures for August, $830 billion, were just 0.4 per cent below the total for July.

From August 2001 to August 2002 public construction rose by eight per cent.

Private non-residential buildings fell by almost 19 per cent.

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