January 10, 2018
The U.S. transportation infrastructure market is anticipated to rebound slightly in 2018 after a 2.8-percent drop in 2017, according to the latest forecast from the American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA).
Total domestic transportation construction and related-market activity is forecast to reach $255 billion in 2018. That’s a year-on-year increase of 3.2 percent after adjusting for project costs and inflation, ARTBA says.
The 2017 market performance is expected to be $247.1 billion.
The national decline in state and local highway and bridge spending drove the 2017 market drop, for the most part. That’s expected to be down 6.4 percent and 7.7 percent, respectively.
ARTBA Chief Economist Dr. Alison Premo Black shared the findings in her forecast during a Nov. 30 webinar for analysts, investors, transportation construction market executives and public officials
The transportation infrastructure market will see modest growth in 2018, but the situation will likely vary significantly by state and region, Black says. The market is forecast to grow in 20 states and Washington, D.C., and slow in 23 states. Seven states are expected to be relatively flat.
The most growth is anticipated in California, Florida, Hawaii, New York, Virginia and Washington, ARTBA says. The association anticipates a slowdown in new work in Arizona, Colorado, Delaware, Maryland, Nevada and Oklahoma. Markets are expected to remain steady in Minnesota, New Jersey, Ohio, Texas, and Iowa.
Federal highway funding of state DOT programs provided by the 2015 FAST Act will continue to show inflationary growth in 2018 – providing a degree of market stability in every state, the association says.
Black notes that while there have been significant increases in state and local revenues for transportation purposes in a number of states over the past several years, some of that revenue is dedicated to debt reduction or has been delayed from reaching the transportation market due to state budget issues.
“These factors, combined with receding state markets due to completion of bond programs or declining or inflation-eroded state revenues, continue to cause a drag on the overall U.S. transportation infrastructure market,” ARTBA says in a press release.
Bright spots in the market continue to be airport terminals, public transit, Class 1 railroads and private driveway, street and parking lot construction associated with residential and commercial developments.
The association also points to these findings in Black’s forecast:
Public and private highway, street and related construction
Bridges and tunnels
Railroad, subway and Light Rail
Airport terminals, runways, ports and waterways
The full forecast can be purchased at artbastore.org.