June 4, 2009
On May 19, I had the privilege, along with a handful of other members of the National Association for Business Economics, to brief Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and Governor Dan Tarullo on the state of the economy. Thanks to the feedback many of the 12,000 subscribers to the Data DIGest have provided to my "Questions of the Week," I was able to report that some of you are now receiving some stimulus contracts and have seen an improvement in the state and local bond market, but no loosening of credit for developer-financed construction projects.
May 13, 2009
AGC's chief economist Ken Simonson explained in a statement that the recent Associated Press story on stimulus transportation funds fails to acknowledge several unique facts about the construction industry.  The AP story does not consider that construction jobs are not site-specific and that workers will spend income in their hometown, among other factors.
May 1, 2009
In a recent interview with Reuters News, AGC's chief economist Ken Simonson said that he expected growth in the second quarter due to a "sharp drop in business inventories."  The article, ISRI-Analysts see US economy bottoming, vary on how long, presented the views of several leading economists, and Simonson's outlook was the most positive.
April 3, 2009
It is growing more likely that real (inflation-adjusted) gross domestic product (GDP) will rise slightly in the quarter that began on April 1 from the dismal levels of the first quarter. The growth is likely to pick up gradually through the rest of the year. But it will be very uneven, unlike the downturn, which affected all sectors.
March 19, 2009
AGC chief economist Ken Simonson spoke to Reuters reporters regarding construction job loss, which he expects to remain negative until the end of this year. Read the article here.
March 5, 2009
The San Diego Union-Tribune today covered AGC's 90th Annual Convention, which will close in San Diego on Saturday. In the article, AGC's chief economist Ken Simonson commented on the state of the construction industry and predicted a three to nine percent drop in nonresidential construction spending. Read the article here.
February 19, 2009
Will February mark the low point in the economic cycle? Assuming President Obama signs the tax and spending relief package this month, and Treasury goes ahead with further banking and credit measures announced by Secretary Geithner on February 10, the economy will soon begin getting a strong double dose of stimulants.
January 30, 2009
Construction job gains were confined to only three oil-producing states - Oklahoma, Louisiana (both 4 percent) and Texas (1 percent) - plus the District of Columbia (2 percent). At the other extreme were Utah (-22 percent), Arizona (-21 percent), South Carolina (-17 percent), Florida and Michigan (both -16 percent). Some of these states posted double-digit construction job increases just a few years ago, whereas Michigan has been shedding jobs all decade.
January 16, 2009
Construction was on the bleeding edge of job losses last year. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on Friday that construction accounted for nearly one-quarter of the 2.6 million jobs lost throughout the economy in 2008, even though the industry employs only one out of 20 nonfarm workers. The industry has shed jobs for 18 months in a row, with losses accelerating rapidly from 20,000 in September to 101,000 in December. Further losses seem all but certain.
January 16, 2009
On January 8, AGC hosted a media conference call with approximately 60 reporters to announce its first-ever construction employment and business forecast.  President-elect Doug Pruitt (Sundt Construction, Tucson, Ariz.), CEO Steve Sandherr, Chief Economist Ken Simonson and members Brian Burgett (Kokosing Construction, Fredericktown, Ohio), Tracy Hart (Tarlton Corporation, St.


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