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Articles by Morris Beschloss
CBO predicts narrower budget gaps
After 25 years of this high interest rate reversal, goods prices dropped precipitously.
It’s becoming increasingly apparent the residential sector is in a strong comeback mode.
Two simultaneous revelations right after the first of the year have magnified our predictions of industrial manufacturing and construction expansion, as the first quarter of 2014 gets off and running.
In analyzing the 2014 industrial construction take-off quarter, we consulted industrial components expert Steve Letko regarding the geographical regions’ growth and the intensity of the product components comprising anticipated overall end-use growth.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.