American Institute of Architects says US construction set to slow in 2009


Construction activity in the US is set to slow sharply during 2009, with office and retail schemes likely to be particularly hard hit, according to a survey by the American Institute of Architects.

In its consensus construction forecast published last week, the Washington DC-based organisation said it expects non-residential construction to fall by 11% this year, while office and hotel construction are expected to contract by 18% and 20% respectively.

The gloomy update came as the institute called on incoming president Barack Obama to adopt a $87 billion (£60 billion) plan to help the design and construction industries, creating 1.6 million jobs.

Kermit Baker, chief economist at the AIA, said: "As profits for businesses have fallen and the ability to get credit to finance projects has become far more difficult, construction plans have been put on hold or cancelled outright in recent months."
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