The Construction Outlook Midyear Updatereport has been released by McGraw-Hill Construction and it predicts commercial building will retreat 8% in dollar volume and 16% in square feet through 2008. According to author Robert Murray, vice president of economic affairs, the slower economy and tighter lending conditions are now causing projects to be deferred, and the loss of momentum will take firmer hold as the year proceeds.

However, the forecast for institutional building calls for a 2% gain in dollar volume, although square footage will settle back 3%. Public works construction in 2008 will also rise 2% in dollars as a result of a push for greater federal funding for transportation projects in fiscal 2008, combined with an elevated focus on infrastructure repair and maintenance.