Despite signs of recovery in a number of sectors of the U.S. economy, including home building, nonresidential construction is likely to decline again this year, according to the latest AIA Consensus Construction Forecast from the American Institute of Architects.
"Overall nonresidential construction spending declined over 10% between October 2008 and October 2009, Kermit Baker, AIS chief economists, writes on the organization's website.
"Private nonresidential construction spending declined by over 20% over the past year," he adds, "with key categories such as retail and office facilities off by more than 30%."
Nonresidential construction activity will decline another 13.4% in inflation-adjusted dollars in 2010, according to the AIA forecast. A small gain of some 1.8% is forecast for 2011.
"The commercial and industrial sectors are expected to be uniformly weak in 2010," Baker writes, "with declines close to 20% in most major categories. Institional construction will fare better, with a modest decline of just under 2% projected for 2010 before reversing for a 3% gain in 2011."