Citing U.S. Census Bureau statistics, ABC reported that the value of healthcare construction is expected to rise by 1.2 percent in 2010, to $48.5 billion.
In comparison, the Census Bureau projects construction advancing in only one other major sector (power, by 2.0 percent) and it projects declines in all others: manufacturing (decline of 19.0 percent), commercial (13.5 percent), lodging (12.8 percent), offices (11.3 percent) and education (5.4 percent).
Meanwhile, nonresidential building producer prices — reflecting the cost of materials — declined nearly 8 percent from August 2008 to August 2009, with copper ore prices falling 32 percent and softwood lumber prices off 9 percent.
Next year's materials prices are expected to be relatively flat, permitting contractors to submit bids on long-term projects with greater confidence, although the rapid fall of the dollar could generate increases in some areas.
Read Associated Builders and Contractors' release on construction activity.
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