Economic Anxiety?

Laura M. Porinchak / February 2020

The construction industry (and others) enjoyed lots of economic optimism in 2019—and for good reason. But memories of the last recession still linger in many minds. Lessons were learned, and now some are being what you’d call “cautiously optimistic” about 2020. Folks are putting on the brakes in anticipation of perhaps another recession, or at least a downturn of some sort.
   
As calm as tings may seem now, is it time to start getting a little worried or anxious? To help you answer that question, know that that’s why we put the spotlight on the 2020 construction economy in this issue. Mark L. Johnson starts with some interesting statistics in his “InSync” column (page 23), and you will find other details in several of the stories you’ll find in “Construction Trends” (page 13).
   
But those are just the appetizers. The entrées start with the article on page 28, also by Mr. Johnson. In this “What’s Around the Bend?” article, Johnson delves deeper into the 2020 construction economy by talking with subject matter experts from places like Dodge Data & Analytics and the Associated General Contractors of America, among other sources. The article covers the hot (and cold/cool) markets, jobs, construction confidence and momentum and lots more.
   
There’s more, though. The next article (page 36) has the 2020 forecast looking at other things that could have an effect on your business this year: economic growth, tight labor, hiring, a disrupted supply chain, what consumers are thinking and more. Experts from Moody’s and The Manufacturers’ Association, among others, weigh in.
   
Both articles offer advice and watch-points to help you finish the year in the black.
   
Speaking of being in the black, I hope that’s how you all leave Las Vegas when AWCI’s Convention & INTEX Expo is over. Scheduled March 22–26 at the Paris Las Vegas, AWCI’s annual convention offers exceptional education opportunities (see “AWCI on the Job” on page 10) that will make you feel like a winner. And you can’t forget about the trade show! This year’s INTEX Expo features more booths than last year; at last check, which was at the end of December, our numbers showed at least 20 more booths and nearly 15 more companies than last year’s show—and it’s still growing. Overall, well over 100 companies in the wall and ceiling industry are getting ready to meet you on the trade-show floor and do what they can to help you be even more profitable this year.
   
You can start making your expo plans by flipping over to page 43. That’s where you’ll find the current list of exhibitors along with their contact and product information. Even if you aren’t attending the convention or trade show (and you’d better have a darn good reason for not attending, because those who do will have more of a competitive advantage over you), consider these companies when making your future purchases.
   
I’m looking forward to the convention next month and hope to see you in Vegas. I’ll be looking for you!