2009 a difficult year but ‘devastating’ to the construction industry
“It provides opportunities to expedite the flow of money out to the field,” he said. “[But] remember, 70 percent of all construction work is financed in the private sector. The stimulus only provides partial relief.”
When a member of the media asked whether a second stimulus was needed, a Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) representative quickly said, “Definitely.” “I’m talking highways only, but it will significantly increase most state’s budgets. Most states are looking at budget shortfalls, so it would just keep them [the states] at their current funding levels.”
In addition to stimulus-funded projects, contractors also are relatively upbeat about prospects for power and hospital/higher education construction, according to AGC. Fifty-two percent expect demand for power facilities to be at or above last year’s levels while 57 percent of contractors expect growth or stability in demand for hospital and higher education construction.
Overall, however, the outlook points to another difficult year for contractors, Sandherr said. The only truly good news, he added, is that construction costs remain at multi-year lows, providing good deals for anyone willing to begin a construction project.
Citing examples like a D.C.-area county that is increasing its capital budget in lightof the “limited time sale,” Sandherr said the association was contacting Congressional and Administration leaders to urge them to invest in new construction activity. “If they act now, they can save taxpayers millions on construction costs while immediately boosting employment and economic activity,” Sandherr said.
Click here for the prepared remarks from Stephen Sandherr: 2010 Forecast Call Remarks
Click here to view AGC’s 2010 National Construction Hiring and Business Forecast.
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