Gilbane Publishes Winter 2012 Construction Industry Economic Report

PROVIDENCE, R.I., Dec. 5, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Gilbane Building Company today announces the publication of the Winter 2012 edition of Construction Economics – Market Conditions in Construction. Based on an array of economic data, construction starts, and material cost trends, this free report indicates an increase in construction spending over last year but cautions of an expected downturn again in early 2013.

"Supported by overall positive growth trends for year 2013, I expect margins and overall escalation to climb more than we've seen in five years, particularly in the rapidly expanding residential side of construction.," says Ed Zarenski, the report's author and a 40-year veteran of the construction industry.

According to the report, margins are up a slim 1% to 2% year over year for 2012. Once 2013 growth in nonresidential work picks up and both residential and nonresidential are active, the industry may begin to see some labor shortages and productivity losses, which will push up escalation. Also, as it did in 2012, even moderate growth in activity will allow contractors to pass along more material costs and increase margins.

Potential impact of recent events:

  • According to the Associated General Contractors (AGC), Hurricane Sandy may not add any economic impact to the construction industry. For the most part, any funds directed to reconstruction will be diverted from some other potential or previously planned construction project and will be spread over a long time span.
  • Bond issues considered in the recent elections amount to just over half ($30+ billion) of what was approved in 2008 elections ($60+ billion), signaling a reduction in publicly funded work.
  • At the recent McGraw Hill Outlook conference, none of the economists expect the fiscal cliff to happen. However, sequestration or the compromises agreed upon will likely reduce funds available for federal and public projects.

Among the topics covered in this comprehensive report are:

  • Construction Starts, Spending, & Costs
  • Material Price Movement
  • Trends and Costs for Structural Steel, Recycling Steel, & Copper
  • Architectural Billings Index
  • Current Inflation Forecast
  • ENR Index – BCI History

This free report is available for download at

About Gilbane, Inc.

Gilbane provides a full slate of construction and facilities-related services – from sustainable building to the latest in construction technology – for clients across various markets. Founded in 1873 and still a privately held, family-run company, Gilbane has more than 60 office locations around the world. For more information, visit

CONTACT: Kristy dosReis Gilbane Building Co. 401-456-5864 kdosreis@gilbaneco.comSource:Gilbane Building Company