Commercial construction levels to end 2012

Building construction slowed last year.

There was a marginal improvement in commercial construction during the final quarter of the year, which may affect some property management companies.

The overall construction backlog remained at 8 months at year-end, which was no different from the previous quarter, according to Associated Builders and Contractors' Construction Backlog Indicator report. Despite the stagnation quarter-over-quarter, the figure was more than 2 percent improved from the fourth quarter of 2011.

"CBI failed to rise during the fourth quarter of last year, a reflection of numerous factors, including fiscal cliff fears, highly constrained public capital budgets and lackluster macroeconomic growth," said Anirban Basu, chief economist for ABC.

Two of the four regions examined in the report experienced quarterly gains. The South and Northeast both experienced slow improvements, while the West and Middle States had a slight decline, the report added. The biggest improvement for the entire year was in the West, which experienced a jump of more than 1.7 months.

While some aspects of development stagnated to end 2012, there could be an improved level of multifamily development this year. David Crowe, chief economist for the National Association of Home Builders, explained during his firm's International Builders' Show that there could be nearly 300,000 units constructed this year.

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