An Upward Trend in Commercial Construction? (News Note)

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Year-end economic indicators demonstrate that private commercial construction may be increasing in 2012, primarily as demand grows for new projects built in the United States.

According to an article in Businessweek, the Architecture Billings Index held at 52 in December, indicating a modest expansion in the market. The American Institute of Architects said that the commercial and industrial component of the number climbed to 54.1 in December, the highest in 10 months.

The monthly survey of U.S.-based architecture firms is one of the main indicators of nonresidential construction, and these numbers suggest that modest improvement may be on the horizon.

The information is confirmed by data from the Census Bureau that shows that spending on lodging, office, commercial and manufacturing buildings grew 8.2 percent in November to $9.2 billion from a year ago. These types of commercial and industrial projects are historically canaries in the mine and are usually the first part of the industry to improve as the economy expands.

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