A 6% uptick in new construction starts is expected this year, bringing spending on starts to $506 billion, according to McGraw Hill Construction's 2013 Construction Outlook. "On balance, the recovery for construction is making progress, but at a single-digit pace given the mix of pluses and minuses by major sector," says Robert Murray, vice president of economic affairs for McGraw Hill Construction. Several factors -- such as a growing demand for housing, stronger market fundamentals for commercial construction and looser lending standards for commercial real estate could contribute to the expected uptick, according to the company.

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