[VIDEO] US Economy Expected to Boom Through 2020

Solid banking fundamentals, not too much capitol overspending and much less consumer debt will lead a US economic boom over next four years; plus more construction industry news on the January 21, 2016, edition of Construction News Tracker

Outstanding economic outlook...

Hot hotel construction market...

Nevada has a housing boom ahead...

And trade shows have much to offer...

That and more on Construction News Trackers brought to you by Caterpillar.

Despite gloom and doom for some world economies, the U.S. is expected to boom through 2020. That's what Morgan Stanley economists are saying. Specifically, they are down playing China and Latin American economic woes and expecting a major U.S. expansion. The big Wall Street player cites solid banking fundamentals, not too much capitol overspending and much less consumer debt as a basis. A note of caution, however; always prepare for a rare recession.

A report from the hotel research firm STR cites a boom in lodging construction. Thus far, 103,230 rooms in 865 hotel projects are set for completion in 2016. That's an increase of 21% from last year. Chicago, Washington and Detroit are high on the construction room list, but New York city leads the way with better than 13,000 new rooms to open this year.

2015 ended on a solid employment note, with 45,000 new jobs added to the rolls in December. The latest analysis finds the construction unemployment rate dropped from 8.3% to 7.5%, as a robust economy appears to have a hot future. Construction employment in December was registered at 6,538,000 — it's highest level since January of 2009.

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As industry hiring grows, 70% of contractors claim they are still having a tough time finding workers.

The increasing need for construction workers may weigh heavily in the coming months on Nevada, which faces a housing crunch of as many as 40 new housing units needed. It's brought about by new commercial projects underway by companies such as Tesla, Walmart, Faraday and Switch, among others. The massive $5 billion Tesla gigafactory under construction near Reno, Nev., leads the area in terms of employees requiring all forms of future housing.

A provision of the new U.S. Highway bill adopted last month will offer states a shot at unused earmark funds tacked onto road projects dating back as far as 10 years. The Federal Highway Administration and state highway agencies are trying to agree on a formula for repurposing as much as $2.1 billion. In perspective, that's four times the amount of the Fed's Tiger Grant program. Whatever the outcome, it's a bonus for highway contractors and an addition to the new five-year highway bill.

Look for major construction in Los Angeles to break out soon after the NFL gave its approval for a new $2 billion stadium project to be located at Inglewood, Calif., to house the transplanted St. Louis rams team.

For those of you having to deal with Pennsylvania's harsh winter climate, the state is offering some relief now that you can follow the plow. Using its state online website, motorists can follow 500 PennDOT plow trucks and 200 contracted removal trucks via its 511PA website. Technically it's called automated vehicle location system and was initiated by Governor Tom Wolfe. PennDOT itself realizes a benefit from the plow tracker system as it can monitor where the trucks can be placed with best efficiency to reduce snow buildup quicker and potentially reduce the use of salt on the road beds.

There's still time to register for two major construction trade shows upcoming in a couple of weeks.

The National Pavement Expo at Charlotte, N.C., January 27-30 is designed to offer ways to grow and run a profitable pavement maintenance business. Show organizers have added programs contractors can use to protect their businesses that will cover legal aspects of the field as well.

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Just days later is World of Concrete 2016, February 1-4 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. In addition to an array of equipment on display there are educational aspects to the convention. This year CSDA will offer four training courses to attendees as well as its next generation networking reception.

You can find registration information for the shows on the ForConstructionPros.com website. 

Wrapping up, the Internet is like a vault with a screen door. I don't need a jackhammer to get in when I can just walk through the door.

This is Construction News Tracker presented by Caterpillar and produced by ForConstructionPros.com.

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