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Commercial Construction Spending May Slow in 2014

In somewhat startling contrast to the uptick in 2013 commercial and residential construction spending we recently wrote about, the outlook for Oregon in 2014 might not be as positive. The annual business outlook report by the Associated General Contractors of America revealed a split in sentiment as to Oregon's commercial construction spending projections for the remainder of this year. This murky outlook, however, could mean 2014 is just the right time to put your project in motion.

Though nationally many contractors expressed their intention to hire more workers in 2014, contractors' intentions are unclear at best in Oregon. Some of the surveyed contractors in Oregon are planning to hire a marginal amount of new workers, while others are looking to let go of a few employees, or to maintain the staff they currently employ. What results is a state with a commercial project market that isn't likely to be leading as it has in previous years.

But the same may not be true for residential construction. The survey did not account for single-family home project spending - which was also on the rise last year. For major construction employers in that market, at least nationally, the outlook was generally positive. 

Of course, slows in spending aren't always bad news for employers and contractors. When spending is down, it may mean labor can come at a reduced price. You should consult a commercial construction planning attorney to determine whether, despite the outlook for 2014, now is a good time to get your project started. 

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Slinde Nelson Stanford
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