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Construction Starts Show ‘Slight’ Improvement

Home construction starts are on the rise in 2012, and updates to a recent survey from the ""McGraw-Hill Companies"":http://www.mcgraw-hill.com/ indicate a forecasted increase of 2 percent for the year. According to projections from the ""2012 Dodge Construction Outlook Midyear Update"":http://www.construction.com/dodge/, total construction starts will hit $445 billion, besting the $434 billion recorded during 2011.

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The outlook report, which is compiled by ""McGraw-Hill Construction"":http://www.construction.com/, calls the predicted performance ""slightly better than"" flat. Additionally, the company noted that current numbers still portray ""an industry struggling to gain upward momentum.""

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Robert A. Murray, vice president of economic affairs for McGraw-Hill Construction, stated, ""The construction industry has yet to move from a hesitant up-and-down pattern to more sustained expansion. After plunging 23 percent in 2009, new construction starts edged up only 1 percent in 2010 and were unchanged in 2011, so the modest 2 percent increase predicted for 2012 is really more of the same.""

Significant findings from the study revealed that single family housing is set to advance by 21 percent in dollars, with a corresponding 19 percent increase in the number of units. Meanwhile, multifamily growth will reach 19 percent in dollars and 18 percent in units.

For commercial building, 2012 will bring about a 10 percent increase, which falls short of the 12 percent rise seen in 2011. The institutional sector will lose ground this year, dropping by 10 percent, following an 11 percent slide in 2011.

Continuing his commentary, Murray added, ""The backdrop for the construction industry remains the fragile U.S. economy, which continues to see slow employment growth, diminished funding from federal and state governments, and the uncertainty related to the U.S. fiscal stalemate and the European debt crisis. On the plus side, energy costs are now receding, interest rates are very low, and lending standards are beginning to ease for commercial real estate development.""

About Author: Abby Gregory

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