While the Utah construction industry generally was slumping in 1987, Provo was having its best year ever.

And Provo officials say that based on the number of building permits issued so far this year and the valuation of those structures, 1988 may be even better.Statewide construction statistics for 1987 released recently by the University of Utah's Bureau of Economic and Business Research show the dollar value of non-residential, or commercial, construction activity in Provo was up 203 percent over 1986.

The value of new residential construction last year in Provo was up 27 percent, for an overall construction activity increase of 83 percent over 1986.

Last year for the state as a whole, non-residential constru;ction was down 6 percent, residential activity decreased 31 percent and total construction activity was off 18.5 percent.

Provo's 1987 construction boom in more striking when compared to the slumps other Utah cities experienced last year.

Orme and Ogden were the only other cities among Utah's 10 largest to show an increase in non-residential construction last year. Orem's commercial construction was up 146 percent and Ogden showed a 29 percent increase.

The value of all construction activity in Orem and Ogden last year was up 9 percent and 23 percent, respectively, over 1986 activity.

The favorable numbers ;in Provo and Orem led Utah County to a 151 percent increase in commercial construction activity in 1987, and a 44 percent increase in all construction activity.

In total value of all constr;uction for 1987, Salt Lake City dwarfed all other cities with more than $147 million. Provo was next with nearly $68 million. Salt Lake City showed a decrease in non-residential construction of 31 percent and a drop in all construction activity of 32 percent from 1986.

"We can't match Salt Lake for volume, but we did have healthy growth last year," said Niel R. Nielson, economic development specialist for the Provo Office of Economic Development. "We hope to do the same this year and maybe better. That's what the indicator's are showing.

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Additional Information

1987 construction values compared to 1986

1987 Commercial Overall

City total increase increase

value (percent) (percent)

Provo $ 67 million 203 83

Ogden 40 million 29 23

Orem 41 million 146 9

Sandy 61 million -26 -26

Salt Lake City 147 million -31 -32

West Valley 31 million -45 -41