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Murray Predicts

RR031819 RobertMurrayMarch 18, 2018 – Robert A. Murray, chief economist for Dodge Data & Analytics, notes both positives and negatives in the organization's latest monthly report. “In early 2019, there are several near-term positives for construction. Interest rates have settled back from levels reached during last year’s fourth quarter, material prices appear to be rising more slowly, and the partial government shutdown was brought to a close," he said. "The federal budget deal signed into law on February 15 included a 2 percent increase to $45.3 billion for the federal-aid highway obligation ceiling, as called for by the 2015 Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act. However, the benefits of tax reform on economic growth are expected to wane this year. Furthermore, the most recent survey of bank lending officers conducted by the Federal Reserve suggests that a more cautious lending stance emerged during the latter half of 2018, especially with regard to loans for multifamily projects.”