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The Benicia-Martinez Bridge is under construction on the Carquinez Strait, about 50 miles east of San Francisco. Transportation spending should be especially strong in California.
Commercial construction

While housing stumbles, producers and others in the construction industry are leaning on commercial construction. “Nonresidential investment is certainly a buffer,” said Zirin, who forecasts a 5% to 6% gain in commercial construction in 2007, compared to 7% to 8% this year.

But Clark Ellis, senior consultant, building and products group, at FMI Corp., believes commercial building will grow 9% in 2007 and continue with strong steady growth through 2010. The automotive, food and beverage, and retail segments will fuel much of this growth, he told the American Housing Conference.

Office construction will jump 7% in 2007 and will continue strong through the remainder of the decade, Ellis added. Government buildings and company headquarters will chip in to this sector.

While manufacturing construction fell 22% and 16% in 2005 and this year, respectively, Ellis expects this segment to grow between 9% and 10% from 2008 to 2010. Chemical (including pharmaceutical), petroleum/coal, computer/electronic/electrical, and food/beverage/tobacco will expand the most the next three years.

Lodging construction, still rebounding from the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attack, will increase 9% next year.

“Nonresidential construction was generally strong,” the Federal Reserve report states. “Construction activity was steady in the Cleveland, Richmond, Atlanta, Minneapolis, and Kansas City districts, and increased in the Chicago and Dallas districts.” But the report adds, “The Chicago and Minneapolis reports noted concerns among some that commercial construction may slow in the coming months.”