2016 a time for growth...
New funding bills provide impetus...
And trade shows on the horizon...
That and more on Construction News Tracker presented by Caterpillar
The U.S. economy is in growth mode with little chance of recession or runaway inflation. That bodes well for the construction industry as evidenced by Ken Simonson, chief economist at Associated General Contractors.
Economic activity for November bears this out as the month registered the eighth consecutive with housing starts above one million, and permits surged to a new five-month high.
The U.S. Commerce report claims groundbreaking jumped 10.5% for November with single-family housing starts improving 7.6% to 768,000 — the highest number since 2008.
A flurry of congressional activity as 2015 came to an end is expected to result in a substantial lift of construction activity this year.
The $1.1 trillion appropriations bill will provide $1.6 billion to the General Services Administration. Veterans facilities will receive double their previous construction budget at $1.2 billion. Other segments of the massive funding bill give small businesses a permanent extension to expense large capitol equipment purchases and delays for two years a tax on healthcare plans. The bill also extends the tax deduction for commercial buildings deemed energy efficient.
Separate from all of this is the five-year highway funding measure approved by both houses and signed by President Obama just before the holiday recess. The $305 billion infrastructure bill will be paid for with gas tax revenue and offsets from other federal budget areas. Two hundred and five billion dollars is earmarked for highways and $48 billion for transit.
One hundred and ninety of 358 U.S. metro areas saw construction employment increase year for year in November. New York City recorded the highest percentage metro increase of 7% for the year.
The big question mark hanging over contractors will continue to be the availability of skilled employees. Many industry associations and other support groups are working with educators to fund and develop trade programs to encourage middle and high school students to consider construction as a future job choice.
Even manufacturers are encouraged by the new found federal appropriations action. Associated Equipment Distributors says the new highway bill alone will produce 6.4 cents in growth for every dollar spent on infrastructure. The pay off comes for manufacturers, distributors and rental operations that support construction.
We turn your attention now on upcoming trade shows in the next few weeks.
The National Pavement Expo (NPE) is set for January 27-30 in Charlotte. NPE is the largest paving and pavement maintenance conference and trade show in the nation and covers all aspects of the industry: sealcoating, paving, repair, striping and sweeping. NPE is being held at the Charlotte Convention Center. Again, January 27-30 are the dates.
Following on its coattails is the World of Concrete February 2nd to the 5th in Las Vegas. Nearly 1,500 exhibitors are expected to display their wares across the Las Vegas Convention Center environs, both inside and out. Attendees can examine new equipment, tools, products and services all geared to the construction, concrete and masonry fields.
You can find all the information for both events on the ForConstructionPros.com Web page.
In closing, when life gives you 100 reasons to cry, show life that you have 1,000 reasons to smile.
This is Construction News Tracker presented by Caterpillar and produced by ForConstructionPros.com.