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Construction Industry Forecasting

What areas of construction have seen growth in the past year?

Overall construction spending in the U.S. is outpacing the broader economy with August showing a four-year high and Commerce Department figures showing July 2013 at 5.2% growth year-over-year. Residential construction and oil & gas are showing the greatest growth.

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) says the recent increase in domestic energy production is one of several factors that “should push up growth in excess of 2.5 percent for the second half of this year and keep it in that range for most of 2014.” And, “housing starts nationally increased 28 percent in 2012 and are expected to grow at a similar pace this year.”

Non-residential sales have seen growth as well. The Wells Fargo Optimism Quotient (OQ) is at 106 for 2013, indicating that contractors and equipment distributors are optimistic regarding year-over-year improvement in local non-residential construction activity. “Executives are expressing the sentiment that non-residential construction activity in 2013 will improve compared to 2012,” says John Crum, National Sales Manager, Wells Fargo Equipment Finance, Inc., Construction Division. 
answer provided by Nathan Medcalf

The big story in the construction economy for the past year has been the housing market’s revival. From January 2012 to January 2013, total housing starts grew nearly 30 percent to a 957,000-start annual pace. The market remains well below the 1.6 to 1.8 million starts the U.S economy is capable of producing in good times, but housing has finally begun contributing significantly to U.S. GDP.

Power construction spending (including oil & gas structures and pipelines) rose 6% to $89 billion in the 12 months ended July 31, 2013 to become the largest of non-residential construction segment. 

answer provided by Larry Stewart