Constructor - January/February 2015 - (Page 26)

Moving in the Right Direction SLOW BUT STEADY GROWTH PREDICTED FOR CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY by SHeryL S. JaCKSOn whiLe the economic recovery foLLowing the Great Recession is characterized by slower growth than expected - averaging well below the historical average at only 2 percent per year - there are positive indicators for the construction industry in 2015. A number of factors that drove construction industry growth in 2014 will continue through 2015, says Ken Simonson, chief economist of AGC of America. Total construction spending was up 6.1 percent for the first nine months of 2014 compared to the same period in 2013, and he projects spending to rise between 6 and 10 percent each year through 2017. Three key 2014 drivers that will continue into and beyond 2015 include: ENERGY SECTOR ACTIVITY Construction related to shale-based gas and oil extraction, also referred to as fracking, has created construction opportunities including site preparation, roads and other infrastructure 26 constructor | Jan u ary/ Febru ary 2015 required to support the energy company sites as well as surrounding areas. "Texas, the Dakotas and Pennsylvania are some of the states that have benefitted from the increased investment in fracking," says Jeff Perelman, senior vice president and chief growth and strategy officer for Sundt, an AGC member of multiple chapters. "In addition to construction at the drilling site, surrounding areas have seen growth in housing, retail, water treatment plants and schools." While the focus on shale-based energy sources is strong, there is concern about oversupply and price drops, says Kent Goetjen, U.S. engineering and construction leader at PwC. "If energy resource costs drop, we will see a slowdown in investment by the energy companies." PANAMA CANAL WIDENING Although the new Panama Canal locks will open in 2016, Simonson says U.S. port construction will continue for five years

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Constructor - January/February 2015

Construction Industry to Get Wet With New Definition of ‘Waters of the U.S.’
Working for a Living
Moving in the Right Direction
Legalization of Marijuana: Feeling the Effects in a Zero-Tolerance Industry
Where You Need to Be
Sunken Ships: Environmental Cleanup Project Saves Port From Drowning
The Digitized Highway
Missouri Contractors Associations Merge to Build a Better Future
A New Year and a Great Time to Decide: Top-Line Growth Versus Intelligent Growth

Constructor - January/February 2015