Gross domestic product grew at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 3.2% in the fourth quarter, the Commerce Department reported on January 30. The latest figures show the economy expanded at a 3.7% pace in the second half of 2013 compared to the 1.8% pace in the first half of the year. The last year in which there was stronger growth in the last six months was 2003. The growth during that period marked the beginning of a four-year expansion. For the full year, the economy grew by 2.7% compared to 2012.
GDP growth in the fourth quarter is even more impressive when you factor in the government shutdown that lasted for the first three weeks of the quarter. Growth was also offset by an even lower rate of inflation, which fell to 0.7% during the last three months of 2013.
In local construction news, Brandenburg has been selected for the demolition of the Horseheads plant in Monaca. The former zinc facility, which is in the process of decommissioning and shutdown, is on the site that Shell has identified as its preference for a world-class ethane cracker. Reports from Beaver County real estate sources indicate that Shell has acquired or is in negotiations to acquire at least two additional parcels adjacent to the Horseheads property. No decision to proceed with the project has been announced yet.
Fairchance Construction was selected to build the $14 million Yester Square Apartments in McKeesport. BRIDGES & Co. is the successful contractor for the new 37,000 square foot Salvation Army store in Uniontown.