Housing Leads Construction Industry to Moderate Growth in 2014, According to McGraw Hill ConstructionDodge Outlook Report Predicts Rise in Construction Starts for Housing, Commercial & Manufacturing Building Sectors; Stability for Institutional Building After Lengthy Decline; Weaker Activity for Public Works & Electric UtilitiesWashington, D.C. – October 25, 2013 – McGraw Hill Construction http://www.construction.com/, part of McGraw Hill Financial NYSE: MHFI, today released its 2014 Dodge Construction Outlook, a mainstay in construction industry forecasting and business planning. The report predicts that total U.S. construction starts for 2014 will rise 9% to $555.3 billion, higher than the 5% increase to $508 billion estimated for 2013.“We see 2014 as another year of measured expansion for the construction industry,” said Robert Murray, McGraw Hill Construction’s vice president of Economic Affairs. “Against the backdrop of elevated uncertainty and federal spending cutbacks, the construction industry should still benefit from several positive factors going into 2014. Job growth, while sluggish, is still taking place. Interest rates remain very low by historical standards, and in the near term the Federal Reserve is likely to take the necessary steps to keep them low. The bank lending environment is showing improvement in terms of both lending standards and the volume of loans. And, the improving fiscal posture of states and localities will help to offset some of the negative impact from decreased federal funding,” said Murray.