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Construction Market Will Continue to Slide in 2009, According to McGraw-Hill Construction Outlook.

Expected 7% Decline Will Follow 12% Drop in 2008 as Financial Upheaval Continues

WASHINGTON, Oct. 23 /PRNewswire/ -- McGraw-Hill Construction, part of The McGraw-Hill Companies , today released its 2009 Construction Outlook, which forecasts a drop in overall U.S. construction starts for next year, as the tough funding environment continues, construction projects are deferred, and financial stress gradually eases. Against this backdrop, the level of construction starts in 2009 is expected to decline 7%, to $515 billion, following a 12% decline predicted for 2008.

"The speed and scope of the events in September and October were startling," said Robert A. Murray, vice president of economic affairs for McGraw-Hill Construction, addressing 400 construction executives and professionals at the Outlook 2009 Executive Conference in Washington today. "Tighter lending standards are a major constraint for the construction industry. For single family housing, declines are continuing and showing no sign of an upturn. Home prices are continuing to drop, a 20% drop so far this year, and we expect another 10% decline through the first half of 2009. Then, things should level off. Store construction has taken the biggest hit; we're looking at a 30% decline in retail square footage starts this year."

Highlights of the 2009 Construction Outlook include:

-- Single family housing for 2009 will be down 2% in dollars, corresponding to a 4% drop in the number of units to 560,000 (McGraw-Hill Construction basis).

-- Multifamily housing will retreat 6% in dollars and 8% in units, after the sharp plunge witnessed during 2008.

-- Commercial buildings will drop 12% in dollars and 15% in square feet, similar to the declines experienced in 2008. Stores and warehouses will continue to lose momentum, the office correction will be steeper, and hotel construction will finally pull back after its lengthy boom.

-- Institutional buildings will slip 3% in dollars and 6% in square feet, as the financial crisis affects funding coming from states and localities.

-- Manufacturing buildings will plunge 32% in dollars after an exceptional 2008 that was lifted by the start of several massive oil refinery expansion projects.

-- Public works construction will fall 5%, given flat funding at the federal level combined with restraint by state and local governments.

-- Electric utility construction will retreat 30% after surging 55% to a near record amount in 2008.

The 2009 Construction Outlook was presented at the McGraw-Hill Construction Outlook Executive Conference in Washington, DC, which brought together top management from all parts of the construction industry including firms involved in building product manufacturing, architecture and design, contracting, engineering, industry associations and other industry professionals. The Construction Outlook is a mainstay of business planning for construction and manufacturing industry executives.

This year, the conference also unveiled a new report that analyzes industry trends for building products and industry players and provided a preview of the 2009 Green Outlook: Trends Driving Change, a first-of-its-kind outlook report on market size, trends and opportunity across green building sectors and regions. The Green Outlook will be released at GreenBuild (booth #1410) on November 18-20.

For more information, visit

About McGraw-Hill Construction

McGraw-Hill Construction connects people, projects and products across the design and construction industry. For more than a century, the Company has remained North America's leading provider of construction project information, plans and specifications, product information, industry news, and industry trends and forecasts. In print and online, the Company offers a variety of tools, applications, and resources that easily integrate with its customers' workflows. Backed by the power of Dodge, Sweets, Architectural Record, Engineering News-Record (ENR), GreenSource and 11 regional publications, McGraw-Hill Construction serves more than one million customers within the $4.6 trillion global construction community. To learn more, visit

About The McGraw-Hill Companies

Founded in 1888, The McGraw-Hill Companies is a leading global information services provider meeting worldwide needs in the financial services, education and business information markets through leading brands including Standard & Poor's, McGraw-Hill Education, BusinessWeek and J.D. Power and Associates. The Corporation has more than 280 offices in 40 countries. Sales in 2007 were $6.8 billion. Additional information is available at

CONTACT: Kathy Malangone +1 212-904-4376 Lisa Jaycox +1 212-512-3272

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Date:Oct 23, 2008
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