BURBANK, CA-Commercial construction in California has climbed by 14.7% for the first eight months of the year, according to the nonprofit Construction Industry Research Board, which reports that more than 80% of that increase is in Southern California with sizable gains also found in the San Francisco Bay and Sacramento Valley Regions. Commercial building thus far this year has represented more than $10.4 billion of the nearly $40.4 billion in private construction in California, with residential building accounting for the remainder. The $40.4 billion figure is up 12% in comparison with the first eight months of last year.

Besides increasing 14.7% year-to-date, commercial building increased by 8.8% in August, totaling $287.8 million, up from $179.0 million in July and up from $140.8 million in August 2003. The August increase was due mainly to an increase in large projects, according to Ben Bartolotto, director of the CIRB. The CIRB is forecasting that by the time 2004 comes to a close, commercial construction will have climbed 7.1% for the year, reversing three straight years of decline.

The $40.4 billion in private commercial and residential building thus far this year was part of a total of nearly $52.2 billion for all categories of construction in the state. The $52.2 billion represented an increase of 11.4% from the corresponding period in 2003.

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