As we look forward to the New Year in the roofing industry, it’s safe to say ‘good riddance” to 2008.
As we look forward to the New Year in the roofing industry,
it’s safe to say ‘good riddance” to 2008.
And if you understand what happened in the construction
industry during the fourth quarter of 2008, then you understand why I am happy
to ring in 2009 with bells and whistles.
According to FMI (management consultants and investment
bankers for the building and construction industry), the construction industry
can be summed up as “good, bad and ugly.”
The good - nonresidential construction will close out 2008
in positive territory.
The bad - 2009 will bring an end to five straight years of
nonresidential construction growth.
The ugly - downturn of growth in 2009 will continue through
2010, which should mark the bottom in terms of dollar volume.
The FMI report said transportation construction is the only
nonresidential segment likely to grow in 2010.
That’s a start.
Still, the just-released FMI report indicated the housing sector
has good long-term growth prospects. With the population expected to increase
by 100 million people over the next 30 years, there will have to be more
It’s save to say this population growth and eventual
increase in residential construction bodes well for the future growth of
However, an important indicator for construction is the federal funds rate,
which as of the end of October was at its lowest rate since 2003 at 1 percent.
The report indicated that: “intensification of financial market turmoil is
likely to exert additional restraint on spending, partly by further reducing
the ability of household and business to obtain credit.”
OK, we’ve gotten it from all sides in 2008. Now, I say ‘good
riddance’ and ‘hello’ to 2009. It may get worse before it gets better, but I
welcome the New Year with a good attitude and newfound respect for the roofing
industry as we accept the challenges ahead.
Watts Up? Looking Forward to 2009
By Tom Watts
Tom Watts is the associate editor of Roofing Contractor. He can be reached at 248-244-1738 or firstname.lastname@example.org.