Here are some promising predictions for U.S. construction starts next year. Dodge Data and Analytics expects total U.S. construction starts to rise to nine percent to $612 billion. Details are included in the 2015 Dodge Construction Outlook, which concludes support will be more broad-based than in previous years. Robert Murray, Dodge’s chief economist and vice president, says in a press release that financing for construction projects is becoming more available, reflecting some easing of bank lending standards. “There’s a greater focus on real estate development by the investment community, and more construction bond measures getting passed,” explains Murray. “While federal funding for construction programs is still constrained, states are now picking up some of the slack,” he says.