An Expert Economist’s Perspective: Ups, Downs and Emerging Opportunities in 2024

Construction BLog

While the construction outlook for 2024 is largely positive, a few ongoing challenges combine with emerging disruptions threaten industry growth. In a recent webinar with U.S. CAD, Ken Simonson, chief economist at Associated General Contractors of America, provided a detailed short- and long-term outlook on the current market trends.  

In particular, he focused on leading indicators that suggest continued, though somewhat slow, growth overall, based on construction spending data. Simonson further outlined what’s hot (e.g., data centers, manufacturing) and what’s not (e.g., retail, office) in specific market segments as well as the impact of labor shortages, rising material costs, supply chain issues and inflation. He also discusses the potential effect of the upcoming presidential and midterm elections, which add uncertainties around policies, regulations and federal/state funding. He also talks about when and where the best opportunities to take advantage of federal investments from bills such as the IIJA, the ‘Chips’ Act and Inflation Reduction Act—monies that to-date have been very slow to be awarded.

Simonson points to the need for firms to carefully manage risks through strategies that include workforce investment, innovative project approaches, market diversification, and close coordination with partners across the industry. Adaptability will be key as economic and political conditions evolve in the coming years.

To hear the full scope of his expert predictions and recommendations, listen in to the 2024 Outlook for U.S. Construction webinar, moderated by Aaron Wagner, professional services director/ACC business line leader, ARKANCE.

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