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DALLAS-A slowing economy isn’t slowing down construction costs, says Dallas-based Turner Corp. in its fourth-quarter analysis.

Building costs are up 1% from the close of the third quarter. According to the Turner Building Cost Index, the fourth quarter will increase to 605 basis point, up 4.54% from fourth quarter 1999.

“The universal price escalation across the country appears to be changing, with a handful of markets slowing down,” says Karl F. Almstead, the Turner vice president responsible for the Cost Index. “In most regions, the market activity and its appetite for manpower continue to influence subcontractor pricing and drive the escalation.” Leading the cost curve are masonry, curtain wall, mechanical and electrical trades.

The Turner quarterly forecast, issued for better than a half century, is a widely recognized barometer for the construction industry and federal and state governments. The company tracks costs and pricing trends, collating data for basis-labor rates and productivity as well as material costs and competitive market conditions.

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