Construction market said charting slow revival

Oct 13, 2011 | 03:44 PM | Michael Cowden

Tags  AMM tube conference, Kenneth Simonson, Associated General Contractors, construction spending, Michael Cowden

CHICAGO — Steel companies supplying the construction sector can expect a mixed picture as the market grows slowly into 2012 and beyond despite steep cuts anticipated in public construction spending, according to one economist.

Even while private construction regains its footing, public construction outlays are set to tumble, meaning that another construction boom is unlikely soon, according to Associated General Contractors (AGC) chief economist Kenneth Simonson.

However, he maintained that his outlook wasn’t a bleak one. "I think at this stage the indicators are still favorable for growth in the fourth quarter, and as an incurable optimist I believe the U.S. economy will continue to grow in 2012," he said at AMM’s first Mechanical and Structural Tube Conference.

This outlook comes with significant uncertainty, including the debt crisis in Europe, which could hurt American banks and developing economies like China and Brazil, Simonson said, not to mention unexpected events that can at any time disrupt supply chains. Still, his forecast could also be overly bearish if, for example, the single-family housing market were to recover.....

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