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Carolinas contractors worry about inflation, report says

Contractors throughout the Carolinas are concerned about increases in construction costs, despite a relatively stable construction market, the Charlotte-based Carolinas Associated General Contractors said today.

In its latest “Barometer” report, Carolinas AGC said that while some areas of construction — such as public works and department of transportation spending — are likely to decline in 2011, construction industry officials are reporting no major decline in anticipated business.

Business is likely to remain slow for the majority of 2011, rise moderately toward the end of the year and accelerate in 2012, AGC said.

Anticipating a slow-but-stable 2011, contractors reported a drop in planned heavy equipment purchases and rentals. Contractors also reported modestly rising wage rates and employee benefits costs.

Construction employment will likely remain flat throughout 2011, AGC said.

Compared with South Carolina contractors, those in North Carolina are showing greater concerns over rising labor, materials and equipment costs; the financing of heavy equipment; tighter labor conditions with higher wage and benefit costs; and reduced spending on highway, utility and public works projects, the report says.

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