‘Get defensive’ to survive, execs told

Nov 13, 2008 | 10:19 AM | Bryan Berry

There will be no sustained economic upturn in the United States until 2010, John Anton, Global Insight (USA) Inc.'s director of steel service, told delegates at AMM's 2nd Annual Scrap Conference.

The recession that began in late 2007 will be the worst the United States has seen since 1981-82, Anton said, predicting that the economy will bottom out in mid-2009 but not gather steam until 2011. "We're in a bust/boom scenario," he said. "We're in the bust period now, but we should see a boom by 2011."

In 2009, U.S. automakers will produce 8 million light vehicles, the lowest level in 27 years, Anton estimated. The consumer price index—prices in the consumer sector—will fall for the first time since 1955, and natural gas prices, which spiked in 2008, will fall next year.

Housing starts will bottom out in 2009 and slowly rise to good levels by 2015. "We built too many houses for the number of people we have," he said. "That's not sustainable." The U.S. needs to build 1.6 million houses a year for the number of people it has. The Middle East overbuilt in 2007 and early 2008; "there could be a short-term crash there."....

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