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Economists: Construction Spending To Fuel California Recovery

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SANTA ANA (CBS) — A new economic survey predicts construction spending in California is on the rebound.

The report released Tuesday from economists at IHS Global Insights said the state is projected to spend over $720 billion by the year 2016 — more than any other state — in what they expect to be a sluggish but steady recovery.

Economists predict California will see the biggest jump in spending at a projected $76.50 billion, followed by Florida at $36.9 billion and Texas at $20.73 billion.

On average, the forecast calls for a 8.6 percent jump in total construction spending nationwide, with double-digit spikes over the next three years.

But as KNX 1070’s Ron Kilgore reports, one economist warns that sunny forecast is assuming a number of different factors.

“There’s also the overhang of foreclosed properties, which has yet to get worked out,” said construction research director Karen Blanford.

Blanford doesn’t expect to see an uptick in commercial and residential building until there is a significant jump in hiring and foreclosures return to pre-recession levels.

“Once the employment picks up, I think that we’ll turn around relatively quickly,” she added. “It is going to turn around…we just have to get consumer confidence back.”

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