Heavy Construction Spending Remains Stalled

08/24/2011 by Jim Haughey

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The forecast downgrade is very small for the heavy construction sector because much of the funding for 2011-12 work has already been committed from trust funds, bond issues and long-term private facility projects for site development, utilities and power generation. A small share of expected funding will be lost or delayed but this will be largely offset by a small scale new stimulus program to boost employment.

U.S. Non-building (Heavy Engineering) Construction
(billions of U.S. current dollars)

  Monthly Figures*
(latest actual values)
Annual Figures
  Actual Forecast
  May-11 Jun-11 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
Transportation (% change is period
versus same period, previous year)
35.318 35.493 38.090 39.659 36.466 37.900 42.15
-13.2% -11.4% 7.4% 4.1% -8.0% 3.9% 11.2%
Communication 17.699 18.389 19.711 17.983 18.126 19.425 21.663
  -3.4% 3.7% -25.7% -8.8% 0.8% 7.2% 11.5%
Power 84.890 87.548 88.627 82.110 84.800 83.125 82.275
  16.7% 18.3% 10.2% -7.4% 3.3% -2.0% -1.0%
Highway 75.807 74.594 81.578 82.523 76.860 82.375 90.275
  -5.7% -9.1% 1.0% 1.2% -6.9% 7.2% 9.6%
Water and Sewer 37.263 37.721 40.106 40.782 37.966 40.575 45.600
  -7.7% -9.3% 91.0% 1.7% -6.9% 6.9% 12.4%
Conservation & Development 7.341 6.856 5.633 6.752 7.102 7.445 7.950
  11.3% -12.0% 7.4% 19.9% 5.2% 4.8% 6.8%
Total 258.318 260.601 273.745 269.8083 261.320 270.845 289.913
  1.4% 3.5% 1.0% -1.4% -3.1% 3.6% 7.0%

* Monthly figures are seasonally adjusted at annual rates (SAAR figures).
The total includes some miscellaneous buildings.
Actuals: U.S. Census Bureau, Department of Commerce (put-in-place investment figures).
Forecasts and table: Reed Research Group.

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