AGC Economist Forecasts Strong Overall Construction Growth

November 7, 2014

Citing the “shale gale” — the increased production of North American shale oil and its downstream effects — a rise in residential construction (especially multi-family) and work on the Panama Canal, Ken Simonson, chief economist for the Associated General Contractors of America, said he foresees strong construction growth for 2015.

Addressing the 2014 Association of Equipment Management Professionals Asset Management Symposium the morning after Republicans won back the U.S. Senate, Simonson said, “I think the election has mixed implications for construction.” The increased number of Republican governors “may encourage the spread of public-private partnerships and make it easier for economic development projects to go forward at the state level.”

Simonson predicts that total construction spending will increase 6 to 10 percent a year through 2017. The biggest problem is a shortage of labor: More than 262,000 workers have left the industry and not returned.

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