E conomists coined the term “half-fast” to describe the financial recovery. It’s an economy in flight, but it isn’t quite soaring. Dodge Analytics calls it “a mixture of headwinds and
tailwinds.” For example, 2015 construction starts were forecast for 9 percent growth. They
landed at 13—a tailwind. This year’s construction market advance is estimated at 6 percent—a
definite headwind. However, it may still catch a tailwind. Construction in 2016 should be a
year of sustained progress, albeit with a few soft spots.
ELECTRICALCONTRACTOR | JAN. 16 | WWW.ECMAG.COM 24
The U.S. economy is projected to grow 3. 1 percent this year, up
from 2. 5 percent in 2015. Upward quarterly performance revisions
throughout 2015 bode well for 2016. In fact, that 6 percent construction increase for 2016 ($172 billion) is closer to 10 percent if
you eliminate a projected 43 percent downturn in electric power
and gas, a nonbuilding sector. Gains of 9 percent are expected for
nonresidential building. Residential will be even stronger at 16 percent. Nonbuilding construction overall is projected to fall 14 percent.
An expansion mixes headwinds and tailwinds