FMI, the Raleigh, N.C.-based provider of management consulting and investment banking to the engineering and construction industry, has forecast an 8% increase in construction activity for 2013. Robust growth in residential construction, as well as a few strong markets in nonresidential and non-building construction, will contribute to the expansion, the report said.
“The focus for 2013 will be on the movement of private money back into the markets,” FMI said. Total construction put in place for 2013 is forecast to be $892 billion, a solid improvement over the last few years, but still just edging out 2003 levels of construction activity.
In the residential market, rising housing starts bode well for 2013. In non-residential, power-related construction will continue to be one of the strongest growth sectors, along with communications, which is being powered by an insatiable need for speed and to send and store large amounts of multimedia files over the Internet. New healthcare construction will include a growing number of renovation projects to update current facilities for modern hospital design, using more technology in the rooms, as well as for improving air quality and reducing energy usage.
In the commercial sector, FMI expected more rethinking of construction space to accommodate smaller stores and combining in-store sales with online shopping. “Look for increasing multiuse projects,” the report said. New construction activity in the education and hospitality industries will be weak, FMI predicted.