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Regaining Our Footing
Posted By admin On May 1, 2009 @ 2:58 pm In Articles,Departments,Editorial | No Comments
by Therese Dunphy, Editor-in-Chief
Predicting economic conditions seems to be more luck and art than science. It seems that whenever a recession begins, most economists don’t admit the presence of a recession until it has been underway for 12 to 18 months. Just look at the last two years.
Conversely, how long does it take to predict the bottom of the decline and the eventual improvement in market conditions? It’s tricky business. Clearer eyes than mine are poring over economic data for signs of better days.
With that caveat, here are some of the portents I’ve seen.
It may be a case of seeing what I want to see, but it appears that the local area is no longer in the grasp of paralyzing economic fear.
Does this mean all is well? I wish it were so simple. A recession as difficult as the one we’re currently enduring will take time to dissipate. As more construction projects are approved, contractors and aggregate suppliers are likely to be less frantic to get the work and more likely to submit bids that give them a reasonable cushion. This is necessary for them to reinvest in their operations and their employees. To achieve long-term improvement, more than just stimulus dollars will be required.
ARRA appears to be giving the construction market a jump start, but ensuring adequate and appropriate investment is critical. Transportation reauthorization has always been an important issue for our industry and the nation, but never more so than now as momentum is necessary to turn around the economy.
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