Morris Beschloss: The Beschloss Perspective

Residential construction on an upswing

Lack of skilled labor is an issue for many industries.

Although single-family housing starts have continued their comeback climb from under 100,000 annually in early 2009, they have significantly rebounded over that figure well into 2013. Much of the recovery on home sales has been concentrated on the reduction of over-extended existing home inventories.

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Commercial building loans on a roll

Solar energy projects also on the rise.

As mentioned in previous columns, commercial building loans and their supporting activity are edging toward pre-recession levels. As of mid-year 2013, U.S. banks had issued just short of one trillion dollars in commercial real-estate loans, up almost 4% from a year earlier, according to official sources.

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U.S. housing recovery continues

Previous residential boom will not be replicated.

With recent statistics noting “air pockets” in the post-recession, stuttering economic recovery, new doubts are being cast on the future of America’s housing comeback. On a year-to-year basis, the expansion of additional residential construction seems to have plodded ahead at a low double-digit rate with expectations of a forthcoming pickup, even if that rate is modest by previous standards.

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Commercial/industrial building on the rise

Auto industry comes roaring back.

 While much of America’s future economic dynamism has been riveted on the overdue upgrading of the nation’s infrastructure (pipelines, bridges, dams, railroads and highways), little has been heard lately regarding commercial and industrial construction. 

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Household net wealth at all-time high

Wealth gap between age groups causes concern.

It may not seem that way, when considering the relative snail’s pace of the general economic recovery, but America’s total household wealth topped $70.3 trillion by the end of 2013’s first quarter, according to the Federal Reserve Board. 

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Surge in cement use bodes well

Spending cutbacks could slow government projects.

 The nation’s residential, commercial and industrial construction markets can expect a major uplift, both in the immediate and longer-term future, according to the Portland Cement Association 

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Housing growth based on new factors

April brings first federal budget surplus in five years.

When many analysts read bold-faced media headlines about the fastest rate of housing price increases in seven years — with some communities posting double-digit increases — they are claiming that housing’s happy days are here again.

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Industrial building hits ‘gas’ pedal

Economic issues yield media spotlight.

 On the verge of 2013’s second half, the previously moribund commercial/industrial construction sector, which was hit hard during the Great Recession, is displaying increasing signs of recovery. 

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Cautious consumers in a 2013 economy

Part-time job numbers are rising.

With the early 2013 economy trending little better than last year’s state of suspended animation, the American consumer, comprising close to 70% of the nation’s $15.6 trillion gross domestic product, has maintained a sense of justifiable caution.

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Greenfield Industrial Projects to Grow

Service sector spurs surge in exports.
This year appears on track for a significant mix of industrial construction projects, according to Industrial Info Re-sources, an informational news source that tracks the progress of major construction on a daily basis.
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