Tag Archives: Market Data

Mid-year economic outlook for nonresidential construction: Expansion continues, but vulnerabilities pile up

Emerging weakness in business investment has been hinting at softening outlays.

AUGUST 12, 2019 |

Courtesy Pixabay

More than 10 years after the end of the most severe financial crisis since the Great Depression, the U.S. economy is again making history by continuing its longest-ever expansion. Nevertheless, emerging weakness in business investment has been hinting at softening outlays, giving commercial and industrial construction contractors cause for concern, according to a mid-year economic outlook by Anirban Basu, chief economist of Associated Builders and Contractors.

“Given that every expansion in U.S. history has ended in recession, leaders of construction firms are rightly wondering when the record-setting expansion will end,” said Basu. “Looking at conditions on the ground, it likely won’t be in 2019, but 2020 could be problematic for the broader economy and 2021 for a significant number of contractors.”

Basu cites numerous vulnerabilities that could trigger a recession in 2020, including:

— Trade wars

— Softening corporate earnings

— Slowing job growth

— Elevated levels of household, corporate and government debt

— Election 2020

But there are plenty of reasons to remain optimistic. “For the most part, the economy has held up better than anticipated,” said Basu. “During the first quarter of 2019, gross domestic product expanded at a smart 3.1% annualized rate. The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis’ initial estimate suggests that the economy slowed to 2.1% growth during the second quarter, but that neatly beat economists’ expectation that that growth had fallen below 2%.”

“The economy could continue to prove resilient,” says Basu. “To date, the economy has navigated ongoing trade disputes and associated tariffs with aplomb. It has also withstood serial interest rate hikes, the longest federal government shutdown in history, extreme weather, shifting immigration policy, ongoing labor market shortages and a lengthy investigation regarding foreign influence in U.S. elections.”

To read the full economic outlook story, visit ConstructionExec.com.

Continue reading Mid-year economic outlook for nonresidential construction: Expansion continues, but vulnerabilities pile up


Number of U.S. architects continues to rise

New data from NCARB reveals that the number of architects continues to increase.

JUNE 19, 2019 |

Courtesy Pixabay

The number of architects licensed in the United States rose to 115,316 in 2018, according to the annual Survey of Architectural Registration Boards. This is a 2% increase from 2017 and represents a 13% increase compared to the number of U.S. architects seen a decade ago.

Conducted annually by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB), the survey provides exclusive insight into data from the architectural licensing boards of the 50 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, as well as the Northern Mariana Islands, which rejoined NCARB in 2018.

The increase in the number of architects is even more apparent when compared to the U.S. population: While the number of architects licensed in the U.S. has risen over 13% in the last decade, the total U.S. population has risen just 7%, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

“This year’s data suggests that the profession is healthy and growing—and that NCARB’s services are just as important now as they were when our organization was founded 100 years ago,” said NCARB CEO Michael J. Armstrong.

Additional data from the upcoming 2019 NCARB by the Numbers regarding NCARB’s 100 years of history reflects the increased demand for the organization’s services. There are now over 115,000 individuals who hold an active NCARB Record, including nearly 41,000 candidates pursuing architectural licensure—a 1% increase in both Record holders and candidates compared to 2017.

The 2018 Survey of Architectural Registration Boards also reveals that there continue to be more reciprocal (outof-state) licenses than resident licenses issued in the U.S. There were 125,475 reciprocal licenses reported in 2018, which is largely unchanged from the amount seen in 2017. The steady number of reciprocal licenses indicates the effectiveness of the mobility pathway established by NCARB and the architectural licensing boards.

The survey reflects registration data from January to December 2018. Additional data on the path to licensure will be available in July’s 2019 edition of NCARB by the Numbers. To learn more about NCARB’s data and the Survey of Architectural Registration Boards, visit www.ncarb.org.

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