FMI Corp. released its "2007 U.S. Markets Construction Overview" in February, predicting a 2.2 percent increase for total construction put in place in 2007. FMI estimates that growth for nonresidential construction markets may reach as high as 9 percent overall and that almost all sectors, with the exception of religious buildings, will be well ahead of the growth rate for GDP in 2007.
Overall, FMI notes that price increases for construction products and materials have slowed. FMI expects future increases to moderate and settle at a new level, although there will be continued market shortages of selected materials, such as cement, steel, copper and diesel fuel causing project delays and cost escalation. Preferred customer supply agreements, time limits on quotes, fuel surcharges and other restrictions have become part of the equation for stakeholders forced to deal with this challenge.
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