About the author: Jennifer Hicks | SmartBlogs

Jennifer Hicks Jennifer Hicks edits SmartBrief newsletters on construction, green building  and freight railroads, among other areas. Before joining SmartBrief, she was a college professor for 12 years and owner of a consulting business that worked with government agencies and Fortune 100 companies on improving the content and usability of their website. She considers herself very fortunate to live on Cape Cod. You can follow her on Twitter @SB_AEC.

General consensus in the building industry predicts high-single-digit to low-double-digit growth for nonresidential construction over the next few years, but Kristoffer Inton, a basic materials analyst with Morningstar and Daniel Rohr, a director at the same company, disagree. The authors of “U.S. Nonresidential Construction Outlook: Spending Will Disappoint as Key Sectors Do More With Less” expect only a 2% increase in the annual real growth rate for the nonresidential sector over the next decade, below their estimate of a 2.25% real increase annually in gross domestic product.[…] Continue Reading »

The economy has been slowing down, and isn’t growing as quickly as expected, said Alex Carrick, chief economist at CMD, formerly Reed Construction Data, during Thursday’s construction outlook webinar hosted by CMD. That statement was underscored when the stock market closed down, cutting the year’s gains to a measly 0.10%.

And the wobbly economy was a concern to the other top economists in the industry, Ken Simonson of the Associated General Contractors of America and Kermit Baker of the American Institute of Architects.[…] Continue Reading »

“If we fail to make the investment in our aging transportation infrastructure, our economy will suffer. Our transportation system is the backbone of the economy, and it drives growth in sectors beyond construction.” — Robert Stevens, president of the American Society of Civil Engineers

The amount of money the federal government currently invests each year in state highway, bridge and public transit infrastructure programs — about $50 billion — contributes to the country’s economy in ways that may not be obvious.[…] Continue Reading »

The turning point in the building industry dawned in May 2014, when the “total employment level reached its prerecession level” and companies stopped looking in the rear-view mirror trying to outrun the Great Recession and started to think again of the future. So said Alex Carrick, North American chief economist at CMD during last week’s webinar on the state of the industry.[…] Continue Reading »

More than 3 in 4 contracting firms are finding it difficult to fill skilled trade positions, and more than 3 in 5 are finding project supers, estimators and engineers hard to find, according to a survey by the Associated General Contractors of America conducted in August and September. The Southeast sees the largest challenge, where 86% of contractors face labor challenges; the Northeast is better off, but far from complacent as 67% of contractors there try to deal with the problem.[…] Continue Reading »