Craig DiLouie authored an LCA article summarizing major 2021 economic indicators and forecasting “Promising” nonresidential construction, looking forward. In 2021, the U.S. rebounded from 2020’s short but devastating pandemic recession with the strongest economic growth in nearly forty years. In 2021, the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP) grew 5.7%, ending the year with a quarterly expansion of 6.9%, according to the Commerce Department. During 2021, current-dollar GDP increased 10%, or $2.1 trillion, to a level of nearly $23 trillion, compared to a decrease of 2.2%, or about $480 billion, in 2020.
A major contributor to the economy is construction, which overall similarly rebounded with 9.3% growth in 2021. The rebound was uneven, however, driven primarily by residential construction spending.
The outlook for 2022 is even more positive, particularly for nonresidential, with significant and more balanced growth expected across this sector. If current trends continue, this positive outlook looks to accelerate in 2023. According to the AIA Construction Consensus Forecast Panel of leading economic forecasters, nonresidential building construction spending is expected to expand 5.4% in 2022 and strengthen to a 6.1% expansion in 2023.
Significant and well-known risks remain, however, notably supply chain disruption, inflation, labor challenges, and the lingering pandemic. As a result, the economy is expected to slow this year. The International Monetary Fund has forecasted U.S. GDP growth will slow to 4% in 2022. These risks also extend to the construction industry, producing higher costs and project delays.
The full article is available here.