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Construction Slowdown

The American Institute of Architects looked at forecasts from five sources to arrive at a consensus forecast for nonresidential construction in 2009 and 2010. The downturn in the economy will translate into a steep drop for the nonresidential construction industry over the coming years. Construction activity will see an 11 percent decline in 2009, followed by an additional 5 percent drop in 2010. All the major commercial sectors will be hard hit by this downturn. The consensus for the retail sector is a drop of 19 percent in 2009 followed by a drop of more than 6 percent in 2010. The most bearish estimate for retail comes from McGraw-Hill Construction, which expects a roughly 24 percent drop in 2009. Reed Business Information, meanwhile, expects the decline to be more mild — just over 11 percent. Reed is also the only company that projects an increase for retail construction in 2010.

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