The election of Donald J. Trump appears to be a welcome development for the U.S. construction industry, forecasters with Dodge Data & Analytics say.
With his background and experience in construction and real-estate development, the president-elect understands the important role construction plays in the growth of our economy and the vitality of our cities, Dodge Data & Analytics says.
During the course of their campaigns, both Trump and Hillary Clinton highlighted the need for increased federal investment in infrastructure. Under Trump’s latest proposal, up to $550 billion in federal funds could be invested—presumably, over a five-year period—in infrastructure and public-works projects, Dodge Data & Analytics says.
“The broad proposal for increased federal funding should support the public-works sector, either directly or indirectly, by keeping attention focused on the need to upgrade infrastructure,” Robert Murray, chief economist, Dodge Data & Analytics, said. “The ways in which the Trump proposals will affect construction will become clearer as more details come forth, including how these proposals make their way through Congress. For the moment, it's still believed that total construction starts in 2017 will increase 5 percent, with some dampening for healthcare-related projects accompanied by improvement for public-works construction.”
Trump’s emphasis on upgrading and developing public infrastructure, including roads, bridges, airports, transit systems, and ports, will, with the approval of the 115th Congress, bring much needed revitalization to U.S. infrastructure and create favorable business conditions across the design and construction industries, Dodge Data & Analytics says.
While the specifics of federal-infrastructure investment in 2017 and beyond will become clearer in the months ahead, the ideas already proposed should help spur Congressional action on two existing legislative items, including the Water Resources Development Act and the 2017 Federal Appropriations Bill, which make provisions for infrastructure spending on water management, transportation, and energy infrastructure, Dodge Data & Analytics says.
At the state and local levels, Dodge Data & Analytics says, the election has provided clarity on likely construction, as voters in California, Colorado, Texas, and North Carolina have given their approval for several major education- and transportation-sector construction-related measures with a combined value upward of $136 billion.