32 From Dodge Data Analytics, prior to Hurricane Irma hitting Florida last month, 2017 had been shaping up as another strong year of building starts in the Sunshine State. According to Dodge, th rough the first seven months of 2017, nonresidential building starts had risen 32% from the same period of 2016, while public works and utilities starts were 21% higher. Dodge had forecast total construction starts would rise 9% for the full year to just north of $60 billion in 2017. Dodge notes post- Hurricane water and sewer facilities, as well as roads will be the initial driver of reconstruction growth in the coming months. 4.7 HARDI’s monthly TRENDS report shows average sales for HARDI distributor members increased by 4.7% in July and the annualized growth for the 12 months through July 2017 is 8.8%. 2.7 From Metals Service Center Institute, U.S. service center steel shipments in August increased 2.7% from August 2016. Steel product inventories deceased 1.9% from August a year ago. 10.8 Also from MSCI, U.S. service center shipments of aluminum products in August increased by 10.8% from the same month last year. Aluminumproduct inventories increased 3.2% from August 2016. 1.5 billion From The Freedonia Group, a Cleveland-based industry research firm, demand for bathtub and shower fittings is forecast to increase 4.4% per year through 2021 to $1.5 billion — the best performance of any major product type in both percentage and dollar terms, the group reports. Freedonia says rising building construction spending will drive demand growth. 3.3 Also from Freedonia, demand for all types of plumbing fittings in the United States is expected to rise 3.3% annually to $5.9 billion in 2021. Gains will be driven in part by growth in new housing construction and rising construction spending on plumbing fittings-intensive commercial buildings such as schools and health-care facilties, the group notes.
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