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The Construction Industry Is Making A Return

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The pandemic caused shifts and delays in a number of industries including construction. While the industry didn’t shut down completely, it did see significant a slowdown in projects as well as accompanying delays due to supply chain shortages. Overall, the industry remained resilient and adapted with the times to include new safety considerations, improved training, prolonged timelines, and changes in design.

Challenges

            Today, the industry is still battling ongoing supply chain shortages and the implications of a changing labor market. However, the issue of most concern as the new year, 2022, came around the corner was the growing inflation.

            Inflation is a cause for concern in the construction industry as everything becomes more expensive, including materials and total project cost. This has led some to completely forgo projects and others to delay into the unforeseeable future. However, in April, the industry seemed to shift as construction starts increased from the prior month.

Pressing On

            As fears of high inflation were put on the back burner, total construction starts increased 3%, including nonresidential starts to increase 6% and residential to increase 4%. This has also contributed to total construction, which saw a 6% increase since the first four months of 2022. Nonbuilding projects were down 4% in April, but total nonbuilding was only down 1% for the period beginning April 2021. Within the residential sector, single-family starts increased by 1% while multifamily starts rose nearly 13%. Total construction rose the most in the Northeast, South Atlantic, and South Central regions, while the Midwest and West saw a decline.

            The industry outlook is beginning to improve as more projects are started and with the help of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. It will be interesting to see how inflation continues to impact the industry and how ongoing delays will contribute to prolonged timelines.

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