Weak Markets Show Some Signs of Bottoming Out
Through the first four months of 2009 the total value of construction starts reached $117 billion, which was 39% less than the first four months of last year, according to McGraw-Hill Construction. “The pattern of construction starts over the past two months suggests a transition from extended declines to more of an up-and-down pattern, which generally takes place when a bottom gets established,” says Robert Murray, MHC’s chief economist. “This process of establishing a bottom is still in its early stages.” The public-works market is expected to see more strength as the impact of the stimulus bill begins to emerge. The worst corrections appear to have passed for single-family housing, and institutional buildings show some resilience, says Murray.