The Election's Effect on the Construction Industry

Barack Obama has been elected President and everything is back to normal. As one of my favorite college football analysts would say - "not so fast my friend." Multiple reports have come out regarding a down year in 2009 affecting pretty much every aspect of the construction industry - from contractors to manufacturers. As you're reading everyone's updates, outlooks, forecasts, etc. one person I would suggest following and giving his insights a little more weight to is that of AGC's Chief Economist Ken Simonson. In his Simonson Says series he recently wrote a reaction to the election and current market conditions that is worth the 2-3 minutes it will take you to read. Ultimately Simonson sees that the Obama administration will likely be more supportive of a larger surface transportation funding bill which from all accounts I've seen is a central factor in any economic recovery plan. He also notes that owners who do go ahead with projects will be pleasantly surprised in many cases by how much less they cost than they would have a few months ago due to a slight slide in materials costs. As such, Simonson believes these conditions should spur both public and private owners to launch construction in 2009.