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C&D World 2014: Positive outlook for construction industry

Association Activities, Forecasts & Statistics

ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basu said the U.S. is finally coming out of the recession.

Megan Workman April 11, 2014

The national construction industry is heading for growth, according to Associated Builders and Contractors Chief Economist Anirban Basu. Basu, who also is chairman and CEO of Sage Policy Group Inc., a Baltimore, Md.-based economic and policy consulting firm, addressed his positive outlook for the construction industry at C&D World 2014 held in early March in Las Vegas.

While the nation’s debt will continue to rise, Basu said, construction spending, in many instances, increased from January 2013 to January 2014. Nonresidential construction spending for lodging (including hotels and casinos) is up 41 percent in January 2014 compared with January 2013, he said. (The most recent figures, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, show that construction spending for lodging is up 37 percent in February 2014 compared with February 2013). Basu pointed out that construction spending dropped the most for nonresidential religious manners (including churches). (The most recent figures, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, show that construction spending for religious manners is down 22.6 percent in February 2014 compared with February 2013).

“We’re finally coming out of the recession,” Basu said.

He told attendees that portions of the construction industry are growing. The housing market, for example, will continue to be a source of progress, he said.

“People will ask, “Why are my friends doing better? I’m renting and they bought a house, that’s why,’” Basu said.

He explained that certain regions of the United States will see advancements in the industry more based on activity in those areas. Import and export activity, as one example, will help grow construction activity, he said.

“Regions with rapid population growth, significant import and export activity, industrial output and energy production will lead the way,” Basu said.

Also speaking during C&D World 2014 was San Jose, Calif.-based Zanker Road Resource Management Sustainability Director Michael Gross, who discussed the company’s potential future in brick recycling, the difficulty of recycling mattresses and how the company recycles unique materials, such as CDs and candles.

Paul Valenti, director of operations for Sun Recycling, a Southern Waste Systems (SWS) company, headquartered in Davie, Fla., talked about the company’s recently installation of a Wendt 60x86 metal shredder and how the company is using refuse-derived fuel (RDF) to take out ultralights (anything light enough to blow away, he explained) from C&D waste streams. He also discussed the challenge of PVC pipe recycling.

Kim Williams, president of Marpan Recycling, discussed the Tallahassee, Fla.-based company’s daily operations, including its full-service material recovery facility (MRF).

C&D Word 2014 was held March 5 at the Bally's Las Vegas Hotel and Casino in conjunction with ConExpo-Con/Agg 2014.
 

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