RALEIGH, NC (October 6, 2011) -- Overall, FMI's latest forecast for construction put in place calls for 2% growth in 2011 and 6% in 2012 to $886.2 billion in total construction. In today's economy that sounds like ambitious growth, but in constant 2006 dollars, it represents a 1% drop in construction spending for 2011 and only 3% growth for 2012. To put it in perspective, in 2012 we will nearly return to 2003 levels of construction in current dollars.
The inchworm economy is struggling along, and it will take some time to revive an industry the size of U.S. construction. There are positive signs to build on, for instance, if businesses with record profits now held in reserve decide that they can make more with their money by investing in new research and development, plants, equipment and personnel, then a new construction boom could follow.
On the other hand, as economists like to say, if fear and risk aversion win out, those looking for a second dip of recession could find their wishes come true.