Anirban Basu's Articles

Mid-year economic Forecast: Momentum Meets Intrigue

If economic performance reflected consumer and business ebullience, the United States would be in the midst of a historic boom. As an example, a recent Small Business Economic Trends survey from the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) indicates that business confidence is at the 97th percentile, meaning business confidence is only this high 3 percent of the time. According to NFIB, “small business owners remain optimistic about the future of the economy and the direction of consumer confidence. We are encouraged by signs that optimism is translated into economic activity, such as capital investment and job creation.”

How Millennials Have Shaped the Construction Industry—for Better and for Worse

Last year marked a milestone for the country’s youngest generation of workers, commonly known as millennials: They overtook baby boomers as the largest workforce segment in America. Employers should be ecstatic that elevated rates of retirement are positioned to be offset by an influx of younger, energetic, tech-savvy workers ready to stimulate productivity. 

Optimism Rises for Near-Term Infrastructure Spending

Stepping away from campaign promises and political conjecture, 2017 should be a decent year for the transportation
construction market, with the best years for spending growth still ahead. 

2017 Construction Outlook

For now, it’s tempting to maintain a somewhat pessimistic outlook. A combination of debt accumulation and low interest rates appears to have taken asset prices above levels supported by economic fundamentals. This renders the macro-economy and that of the nation’s nonresidential construction sector somewhat vulnerable to asset price adjustments.  

The Need Is Obvious; The Political Will Is Not

P3s are the only conceivable financial solution to America’s infrastructure deficits.  

Spending Stabilizes at Elevated Level; Supply Constraints Become More Apparent

While nonresidential construction spending growth struggles to maintain momentum, the balance of 2016 should prove a rewarding period for many construction companies. America’s consumer-led economic recovery remains in place, and construction backlog remains at elevated levels. 

Safety: A Near-Perfect Alignment Between Doing the Right Thing and Enhancing Profitability

Firms with better safety records are less exposed to lawsuits and claims for workers’ compensation. Trained workers are more likely to stay on the job. Better safety means fewer expenses to repair damaged equipment and reputation. And, safe companies eliminate the costs of investigation, potential workplace interruptions and impacts on morale.  

The Millennials Are Here, and More Are Coming

Technology that renders the worker more productive may allow for increased flex time, engender more interest in the work and support higher retention. That technology also may produce greater precision, fewer delays and bolster recruitment of highly capable young workers who seek to be in an ultra-modern environment. But this technology also may prove expensive, which means that well-capitalized construction firms have the advantage over time. 

3-D Printing in the United States and Abroad

Whether or to what extent 3-D printing will displace conventional methods of construction delivery is anyone’s guess. What is not known presently are the challenges presented by 3-D printing. People have recognized the promise, but until more of these projects are developed and occupied, the shortfalls cannot be fully understood.  

2016 Economic Outlook

If the economic recovery were likened to a college basketball game, the nation would be in the early to mid-stages of the second half. Mid-June marked the tipoff of the seventh year of economic recovery. 

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