Economists Predict Rocky Road to Recovery for Construction Industry

Dodge Data & Analytics forecasts that the U.S. infrastructure segment won’t return to normal levels until 2023. The long road to recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic will continue to be rocky according to Richard Branch, chief economist, Dodge Data & Analytics. During the 2021 First Quarter Construction Outlook update, Branch outlined the national starts forecast for 2021 across residential, nonresidential building and non-building sectors. Currently, the U.S. economy is operating at 22% below the pre-pandemic level but Branch said higher levels of vaccination in conjunction with stimulus funding should accelerate economic recovery however. “The county has pent up spending that will push the economy forward much faster over the next few months,” Branch said. “Pre-pandemic levels will be back around the mid-point of this year.” Branch added that not all industries will recover at that same pace and unfortunately the construction is an industry that will have a much slower recovery than the rest of the country. Despite the promise of recovery, volatility will remain through the first half of 2021 and beyond. READ FULL ARTICLE