FMI Corp. is predicting continued growth for the industry with an optimistic forecast of 2.2% increase for total construction put in place this year in its 2007 U.S. Markets Construction Overview. FMI estimates that growth for nonresidential construction markets may reach as high as 9% overall and that almost all sectors, with the exception of religious buildings, will be well ahead of the growth rate for GDP in 2007.
Continued growth will present two ongoing challenges — rising materials costs and the need to find skilled workers, according to the report. Driven by demographic and social changes, FMI notes that the talent shortage is not likely to go away in the near future for the engineering and construction industry.
Overall, FMI notes that price increases for construction products and materials have slowed. FMI expects future increases to moderate and settle at a new level, although market shortages of selected materials, such as cement, steel, copper and diesel fuel, will continue, causing project delays and cost escalation.
The 98-page report, released by FMI's Research Services Group, provides a look at the economic health of the U.S. construction industry as well as forecasts for each market sector and geographic region for the coming year. The annual review includes a look at industry trends and emerging issues to help industry participants prepare for future challenges.
Additional information about the 2007 U.S. Construction Markets Overview is available by calling Mary Prendergast at 303/398-7235 or [email protected] The report can be purchased by calling 800/877-1364 or by ordering online at www.fminet.com and clicking on Information Resources.