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Construction Outlook Brightens on Senate Infrastructure Bill Approval, but Challenges Remain


Following the U.S. Senate’s overwhelming bipartisan approval on Aug. 10 for the long-awaited infrastructure spending bill, which includes long-term investments in transport, energy, utilities and climate-related initiatives, GlobalData, a data and analytics company, now forecasts that the U.S. construction industry will grow by 3.3% a year on average between 2021 and 2025 compared to a previous forecast of 2.2%.

    

The new bill includes $550 billion in new government spending to invest in various U.S. infrastructure sectors over the next five years. When put together with the spending that would be typically appropriated every year, including existing infrastructure transportation programs passed earlier this year, the total amounts to $1.2 trillion over the next eight years. As a result, GlobalData now predicts the infrastructure construction sector will grow by an annual average of 5.3% in 2021–2025 compared to the previous forecast of 1.5%.

    

However, the timing of passage is uncertain. Before it is enacted into law by the president, the bill could face a time-consuming path as it still needs to be approved by the U.S. House of Representatives, where progressive Democrats have said they will not vote on it unless it is passed along with a separate, and even more ambitious social bill worth $3.5 billion, which focuses on education, health, child and elder care and climate change initiatives. This could put the infrastructure bill on hold for weeks, if not months, which could further prolong the provision of cash flows to be given to projects and individual states.

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