August 14, 2015
Article by Joseph Natarelli, National Construction Industry Group Leader, and Anirban Basu, Chief Construction Economist, "The Good, the Bad, and the Inflationary," Featured in Construction Accounting and Taxation
This year is supposed to be the year that the U.S. economic recovery kicks into high gear. Of course, last year was, too. So was 2013. In fact, the U.S. economy failed to engage any gear other than reverse during the first three months of the year, with gross domestic product (GDP) shrinking 0.7 percent on an annualized basis during that period.
Other indicators, however, have been more positive, particularly recently. After a weak March, job growth was more than solid in April and May. National unemployment has fallen from 6.3 percent to 5.5 percent over the past year and more Americans are hopping back into the labor market by beginning their respective job searches. After several months of weak performance, retail sales growth has begun to accelerate, including at the nation's restaurants and auto dealers.
What do these off-and-on dynamics mean for overall construction spending, specific construction segments, and contractors? This article strives to address those and other issues. The economy continues to face headwinds, but the next several quarters are shaping up to be decent ones for the U.S. economy and for stakeholders in the U.S. construction industry.