AIA Forecasts Continued Decline in Construction for 2010

The new year is upon us: freshly made resolutions (“I will visit UnBeige daily, and read excerpts aloud to my most cherished colleagues”), abundant clearance sales, and a new Pentagram Typographic calendar to gaze upon. But despite the nascent economic recovery and the full-bodied hopefulness of the digits 2010, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) warns that nonresidential construction isn’t about to rebound anytime soon. According to the new AIA survey of the nation’s leading construction forecasters (we love a meta-forecast!), nonresidential construction spending is expected to decrease by 13.4% this year. “When economies emerge from this prolonged recession, recovery for nonresidential construction activity typically takes longer,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, Ph.D. “Hardest hit will be the commercial and industrial sectors with projected declines in the 20 percent range for 2010 in most building categories.” But hey, there’s always next year. The AIA is projecting a marginal (1.8%) increase in nonresidential construction come 2011.