When it comes to construction forecasts, I have been all over the board with my personal predictions for the future. And this makes me exactly like the experts who are actually paid to make those predictions. This past week, three major experts got together for the Reed Construction Data webinar, 2014 Outlook: Emerging Opportunities for Construction, and I am now as conflicted and frustrated as ever. The main issue I have is the constant “kick the can down the road” forecast, saying, “just wait, such and such a year will be great!” A year ago the predictions pointed to 2013 being good, especially the second half. Now this past week, one of the major experts kicked that can down the road again, and said he hopes nonresidential will improve “later this year, and do even better in 2014 and 2015.” That comment just eats at me, and shows that this is an inexact science. Nobody really knows what’s going to happen.
What we do know is many areas are busy, and many companies are doing the best they have done since the recession hit. Bidding activity is strong as well. But getting clarity from the experts, and accurately reading tea leaves is just not something that we can expect. By the way, the experts were, overall, confident that we are growing in most sectors (though education looks ugly), and the trends are heading in the right direction. I guess we will see.
- Now that the shutdown is over or delayed until the fight starts again in 2014, maybe the focus can move to the other issues that seriously complicate our world. Then again, Washington is so dysfunctional, that will never happen. And to those of you dealing with the new health care act, I feel your pain. My health plan was cancelled (so much for “if you like your plan you can keep it”), pushing me into a whole new world that, so far, has not be easy to navigate. More on this as it plays out.
- Greenbuild, the show that just boggles my mind with massive hypocrisy, is coming in about a month. Who’s going? Philly in late November… should be special. Attendance, though, should be good given where the show is, and the bizarre hype the show gets.
- I’ve been playing with an idea to have my own award of MVP of the flat glass industry for 2013, to recognize someone who has made an impact on our world, whether it’s with technology, codes, companies, growth, charity, etc. I have a few people in mind, and will be laying them out in the coming weeks, and naming the winner at the end of the year. I may even spring for a glass trophy for the winner. If you have someone in mind that deserves recognition, drop me an email.
- Last this week … We continue to wish for a speedy recovery of Tim Moore and his daughter, and thoughts go out to my brother Steve who underwent a serious neck and spine procedure this past week. Surgery was smooth, but recovery has been very rough. Get well quick bro. We need you back out there doing all you do!
The author is founder of Sole Source Consultants, a consulting firm for the building products industry that specializes in marketing, branding, communication strategy and overall reputation management, as well as website and social media, and codes and specifications. E-mail him at MaxP@SoleSourceConsultants.com.
The opinions expressed here are those of the individual author and do not necessarily reflect those of the National Glass Association, Glass Magazine editors, or other glassblog contributors.