Construction research firm CMD expects starts of industrial construction projects to increase 7.8 percent this year due in large part to reshoring efforts by U.S. manufacturers.
The Georgia-based group's quarterly forecast suggested lower domestic energy prices and declining overseas competitive advantages make the U.S. "an attractive destination for high value-added manufacturing." Firms bringing jobs back to U.S. shores, CMD predicted, will spur increased demand for manufacturing space and lead to greater construction activity.
Although the report said the industrial construction market would remain "buoyant," the projected increase would be less than half the 16.5 percent jump in industrial starts in 2014.
Overall, CMD expected a 10.5 percent increase in U.S. construction starts this year amid an expanding manufacturing market, sustainable wage growth and falling inflation due to plummeting oil prices.
Last year, a strong fourth quarter pushed U.S. construction starts up 5.9 percent compared to 2013. Non-residential and civil engineering construction was particularly strong in 2014, which helped offset a relatively slow residential construction sector, CMD said.
The group also projected a 4.4 percent increase in Canadian construction starts this year. The analysis predicted low oil prices would hamper the country's energy sector and affect new civil engineering projects.