Residential construction to head non-residential in US recovery

By Steve Skinner20 July 2010

The latest 'US Building Materials Forecast' produced by IHS Global Insight predicts that residential construction activity in the US will begin to see improvement this year, while non-residential construction will not recover before 2011.

Total spending on building materials in the US contracted by -1.02% in the first quarter of 2010 and is not expected to return to positive growth until the last quarter of this year.

Global Insight expects a +4.79% growth in demand for materials used in residential construction in the fourth quarter of this year with a further +15.71% growth between 2010 and 2015.

Demand for materials such as hardware, insulation and paint are expected to lead the way as growth returns to the sector. However, a spokesman said, "Overall demand for residential building materials will remain below 2006 levels and the recovery will be uneven."

The report said that demand for building materials for use in non-residential construction will continue to contract through to the first quarter of 2011, despite the boost created by the US American Recovery and Reinvestment stimulus act. "Demand for materials most intensively used in renovation will benefit earlier from the eventual recovery," said the spokesman.

Demand for materials used in non-residential construction declined -11.11% from 2009 to 2010 but is expected to bottom out by the end of this year and rebound by +0.11% from 2010 to 2011.

Although infrastructure spending was boosted by stimulus spending throughout 2009, total spending on materials for infrastructure projects is expected to contract through to the first quarter of 2011.

"Infrastructure construction spending is expected to decline by -4.7% in 2010 and by -2.1% in 2011 before returning to an annual growth pattern from 2012," said the spokesman.

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