* 39 pct say credit harder to obtain
* Recovery seen in 12 to 18 months
* Confidence improves, but growth still elusive
NEW YORK, June 30 U.S. construction companies
seeking financing for new buildings still find credit hard to
come by, although conditions have improved slightly from the
previous quarter, according to a new survey.
About 13 percent of those surveyed by McGraw-Hill
Construction, a unit of McGraw-Hill Cos MHP.N, said project
financing was getting easier, up from 7 percent who said so in
the first quarter.
But far more contractors and engineering companies, 39
percent, say project financing is actually harder to obtain,
and a majority of respondents say the current market continues
to decline. The survey polled about 2,000 U.S.-based
contractors and engineers.
Half believe the construction market will improve within 12
to 18 months, according to the Construction Industry Confidence
Index, published by McGraw-Hill's Engineering News Record
magazine. The confidence index jumped 7 points in the second
quarter to 41 points, but that is still below the 50 level that
indicates a growing market.
Another closely watched barometer of construction spending,
a billings index published by an architects' trade group,
suggests recovery will not begin until 2011. That index fell
last month after three months of gains [ID:nN22237544].
Companies generating revenue from construction include
diversified manufacturer Honeywell International Inc (HON.N),
lighting maker Acuity Brands Inc (AYI.N), electrical components
maker Thomas & Betts Corp TNB.N, security and fire safety
products maker Tyco International Ltd TYC.N, electrical
products maker Hubbell Inc HUBb.N, and heating and cooling
systems makers Ingersoll-Rand Plc (IR.N) and Johnson Controls
Among other companies that get sales from the sector are
Caterpillar Inc (CAT.N), Deere & Co (DE.N), Terex Corp (TEX.N),
Illinois Tool Works Inc (ITW.N), Mueller Water Products Inc
(MWA.N), Watts Water Technologies Inc (WTS.N), Cooper
Industries Plc CBE.N, Emerson Electric Co (EMR.N), Parker
Hannifin Corp (PH.N), Manitowoc Co (MTW.N), Oshkosh Corp
(OSK.N), ITT Corp (ITT.N) and Eaton Corp (ETN.N).
(Reporting by Nick Zieminski; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)