SlideShare a Scribd company logo
2008 State of the Construction & Surety Industry Report
THE FIVE YEAR CONSTRUCTION BOOM IS OVER
The Construction Cycle Peaked…Here Comes the Trough
Prepared By
William J. McConnell Jr. P.E.
Vertex Engineering Services, Inc.
1 of 10
I. State of the U.S. Economy
A. Definition of a Recession
The technical definition of a recession varies from economist to economist. One widely
accepted definition is the reduction of a country’s gross domestic product (“GDP”) for at least
two consecutive quarters, otherwise known as the “two quarter rule.”1
Remarkably, the U.S. is
not in a recession if you accept this meaning.
The real GDP, the output of goods and services produced by labor and property located in
the U.S., was down 0.2% in the fourth quarter of 2007 and was also down 0.5% in the third
quarter of 2008 – note the two contractions were not consecutive.2
This definition of a recession
has obviously come under scrutiny of late as current economic conditions are being compared to
the Great Depression.
The U.S. Department of Labor recognizes a recession by the National Bureau of
Economic Research’s (“NBER”) definition: "a significant decline in [the] economic activity
spread across the economy, lasting more than a few months, normally visible in real GDP
growth, real personal income, employment (non-farm payrolls), industrial production, and
wholesale-retail sales."3
Based on this definition, the U.S. entered a recessionary cycle in
December of 2007.
According to NBER, the U.S. economy has run through 23 economic cycles since year
1900; each cycle includes a contraction phase and an expansion phase.4
See Chart 01 for a
graphic illustration of each contraction phase. For the purpose of this report, I also accept
NBER’s definition of a recession.
B. Historical Recessionary Cycles – 16 months
Subsequent to the Great Depression, the average recession is 10.4 months in duration,
with the shortest recession lasting 6 months and the longest recession lasting 16 months. The
U.S. economy is in its 14th
month of the current recession. Based on NBER’s empirical data, the
economy should start expanding no later than the summer of 2009. I would be remiss, however,
if I failed to note that the Great Depression caused a contraction lasting 43 months, or 3.5 years.
Aug-29 to Mar-33: 43 months Dec-69 to Nov-70: 11 months
May-37 to Jun-38: 13 months Nov-73 to Mar-75: 16 months
Feb-45 to Oct-45: 8 months Jan-80 to Jul-80: 6 months
Nov-48 to Oct-49: 11 months Jul-81 to Nov-82: 16 months
Jul-53 to May-54: 10 months Jul-90 to Mar-91: 8 months
Aug-57 to Apr-58: 8 months Mar-2001 to Nov-2001: 8 months
Apr-60 to Feb-61: 10 months Dec-2007 to ______: 14 months as of Jan-2009
1
BusinessDictionary.com
2
http://www.bea.gov/newsreleases/national/gdp/2008/pdf/gdp308f.pdf
3
http://www.nber.org/cycles/dec2008.html
4
http://wwwdev.nber.org/cycles/cyclesmain.html
2 of 10
C. Federal Action to Combat the Current Recession
The federal government reacts swiftly to combat recessionary cycles – this was not the
case seventy years ago. Through swift reductions of the federal funds rate and through the liberal
exercise of congressional spending power, the length of a recession can be greatly reduced.
The federal funds rate is the interest rate at which the Federal Reserve lends banks money
– it is a direct method the Federal Reserve Chairman uses to regulate the supply of money in the
U.S. economy.5
Low interest rates, coupled with federal regulation, should permit homeowners
to refinance their homes to achieve affordable payment schedules. When this happens, consumer
spending will start to increase (consumer spending makes up 70% of the GDP).6
Last week House Democrats proposed an $825 billion stimulus package to jump-start the
economy. Much of the proposed bill relates to construction spending. Construction is the largest
services category of the GDP. The stimulus package should provide businesses with additional
revenue and profits. Economists believe the stimulus package will prevent the unemployment
rate from hitting double digits, and may even cause a reduction of 1.7%.7
D. A Significant Rise In Unemployment Rate = Start of a Recession
The unemployment rate soared from 4.9% to7.2% in 2008.8
Economists predict the
unemployment rate will increase to 8% by the end of the first quarter of 2009. During the last
seven recessions, the unemployment rate increased an average of 44%. Currently, the
unemployment rate is up 47%. An unemployment rate of 8% would represent a 63% increase
from the start of the current recession.
Start of Recession End of Recession Overall Increase
• Apr-1960: 5.2% Feb-1961: 6.9% 33% increase
• Dec-1969: 3.5% Nov-1970: 5.9% 74% increase
• Nov-1973: 4.8% Mar-1975: 8.6% 79% increase (16month)
• Jan-1980: 6.3% Jul-1980: 7.8% 24% increase
• Jul-1981: 7.2% Nov-1982: 10.8% 50% increase (16 month)
• Jul-1990: 5.5% Mar-1991: 6.8% 24% increase
• Mar-2001: 4.3% Nov-2001: 5.5% 28% increase
• Dec-2007: 4.9% Dec-2008: 7.2% 47% increase to date
A substantial increase in unemployment is an excellent indicator for the start of a
recession. However, unemployment generally continues for a period of time after a recessionary
cycle ceases – as was the case in half of the recessions noted above.
5
http://www.federalreserve.gov/monetarypolicy/fomc.htm
6
Summarized comments from Wilbur Ross, The billionaire chairman of W.L. Ross & Co. specializes in turning
around troubled companies.
7
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123202946622485595.html
8
http://data.bls.gov/PDQ/servlet/SurveyOutputServlet?data_tool=latest_numbers&series_id=LNS14000000
3 of 10
E. A Significant Decrease in the CPI = The End of the Recession Is Near
The Consumer Price Index (“CPI”) represents “the price paid by urban consumers for a
representative basket of goods and services.”9
In other words, the CPI is an inflation indicator.
Historically, CPI growth typically peaks during the first full year of a recession, and then once
CPI growth starts to slow, the end of the recession is within one year away.
Start of Recession End of Recession
• 1960: 1.7% 1961: 1.0%
• 1969/70:5.7% 1971: 4.4%
• 1973/74: 11.0% 1975: 9.1%
• 1981: 10.3% 1982: 6.2%
• 1990: 5.4% 1991: 4.2%
• 2000: 3.4% 2001: 2.8%
• 2008: 3.8% 2009:
The CPI peaked in July of 2008 and has been on a steady decline ever since. The CPI was
220 in July of 08 and slipped by 210 in Dec of 08, which is the level the CPI was at the month
before the recession started in Nov of 07. Based on historical data, the current recession should
cease in 2009 so long as there are no inflationary spikes in the costs of goods or oil.
The CPI index does not account for food and energy, as the pricing for these items are too
volatile in nature. Accordingly, a review of crude oil pricing is important. As noted below, the
average price of crude peaked in the first full year of the recession and dropped in the second
year of the recession.
One exception to this rule was the 1973 – 1975 recession. The Yom Kippur War started
with an attack on Israel by Syria and Egypt on October 5, 1973. The U.S. and many countries in
the western world showed support for Israel. As a result of this support several Arab exporting
nations imposed an embargo on the countries supporting Israel, thus increasing the average price
of oil.10
Start of Recession End of Recession
• 1960: $20.88/barrel 1961: $20.25/barrel
• 1969/70:$19.22/barrel 1971: $18.88/barrel
• 1973/74: $40.29/barrel 1975: $48.21/barrel (does not follow trend due to Yom Kippur War)
• 1981: $83.54/barrel 1982: $70.07/barrel
• 1990: $37.69/barrel 1991: $31.51/barrel
• 2000: $33.79/barrel 2001: $27.59/barrel
• 2008: $99.65/barrel 2009: $32.94/barrel (as of Jan-2009)
G. Economic Prediction
Empirical data suggests that 2009 is the classic second recessionary year: CPI growth
peaked in 2008; oil prices peaked in 2008; and a drastic swing in unemployment took place in
2008. The Obama administration brings with it a sense of hope for most people – the rubber will
9
http://www.bls.gov/cpi/
10
http://www.wtrg.com/prices.htm
4 of 10
hit the road if the stimulus bill is passed. The other important factor is the general public become
hardened by bad news in the second year of a recession. The markets are not as volatile when
bad news is expected as this expectation is built into the marketplace – this was not the case one
year ago.
Although many view former Federal Reserve Chairman Allen Greenspan as an
accomplice for the current recession, he made a very important observation in his 2007
autobiography titled The Age of Turbulence. Mr. Greenspan noted that he was always surprised
at the resilience of the U.S. economy and how fast it worked out of recessionary cycles. He more
or less noted that when you are in the trees, it seems like the recession will never end – and every
recession has its unique differences. When I’m writing my state of the industry report next year, I
hold this holds true.
II. State of the Construction Industry
As noted in my previous reports, as goes the economy, so goes the construction industry.
This time, however, the reverse can be said. The residential construction sector, combined with
subprime lending, caused the current recession.
In the 1990s, the residential sector represented approximately 43% of all construction
spending. Between 2000 and 2006, this category grew to well over 50% of the construction
sector. In 2008, the residential market share slipped to 32% of the construction sector, the lowest
percentage in over two decades. As a result, put in place construction is down for the second
straight year from the 2006 peak. The US Census Bureau estimates put in place construction at
$1.09 trillion for 2008, its lowest level since 2004.
The public construction market continues to grow at a rapid pace. In 2008, the public
construction market represents 29% of the construction market – this is its highest level since
1991. This trend will continue over the next two years as the federal government will increase
funding for construction projects to stimulate the economy. Heavy contractors that work for state
DOTs are well positioned to reap the rewards of the imminent funding package. General
contractors that are qualified to complete work for the EPA, GSA, and Army Corps of Engineers
should also be well positioned.
The five year construction boom between 2003 and 2007, coupled with a global
construction boom, 2004/2005 were the best growth years the construction market has seen. This
caused major inflation in construction materials. This poor years is a result of –28% reduction in
residential construction. The other two sectors with negative growth were commercial – down
8%, and communications, down 14%. Other than that, the fourteen other sectors were up a lot:
A. Market Sector Review
Aside from the Residential and Commercial sectors, the balance of construction
categories performed reasonably well in 2008. For the most part, the sectors that realized modest
to significant gains are likely going to see revenue retreat in 2009 – particularly private sectors
that rely on private financing. Furthermore, the stimulus package, if passed, will not have an
5 of 10
effect on construction revenue until 2010 as projects need to be formally selected, designed, put
out to bid, and awarded. The following is a brief 2008 performance review and 2009 forecast for
key construction categories.11
• Manufacturing (69%): Although square footage is considerably down over the past six years,
construction revenue from this sector boomed in 2008 as a result of multibillion dollar oil refinery and steel
processing projects. This category will retreat in 2009 as square footage is estimated to drop from 85
million square feet to 77 million square feet, and fewer mega-projects are planned to start.
Key Indicator: The threshold average for Manufacturing is 110 million square feet. (2008 estimate: 85
million SF; 2009 projection: 77 million)
• Power (44%): Due to the funding provided by the Energy Policy Act of 2005, the Power category had a
banner year. Although 2009 revenue will likely drop somewhat, the stimulus package, if passed, should
support this sector for years to come. In addition, the nuclear industry has been revitalized after being
dormant for over two decades and two new power plants in the planning phase.
Key Indicator: Federal/State legislation; nuclear power consortium NuStart Energy (the agency that
selected the two new nuclear power sites).
• Lodging (35%): The lodging sector had its fifth straight growth year. With the tightening credit market,
unemployment, reduction in occupancy rates, and reduction in business travel, this sector is forecasted to
shrink in 2009.
Key Indicator: The threshold average for hotel construction is 60 million square feet. (2008 estimate: 88
million SF; 2009 projection: 70 million SF; 2001 recession: ~40 million SF)
• Office (16%): The office sector had its fifth straight growth year. Because of credit conditions and
unemployment, this sector will be substantially off in 2009. In addition, vacancy rates, which continue to
be reasonably low, are expected to rise in 2009.
Key indicator: The threshold average for office construction is 200 million square feet. (2008 estimate: 180
million SF; 2009 projection: 150 million SF; 2001 recession: 155 million); The threshold for vacancy rates
is approximately 12% - anything below is good, anything above bad (in 2008, the vacancy rate for
downtown office building is approximately 11%, in the late 1980s, the vacancy rate was above 15%).
• Water Supply (13%): In 2008, this category recorded impressive gains for the sixth consecutive year.
Funding for water supply and water quality projects comes from the state level. Because states currently
have funding issues due to shrinking tax revenue, this sector will likely be flat in 2009. By 2010, however,
the stimulus package, if passed, should provide extensive funding for water projects.
Key Indicator: Federal/State legislation.
• Health Care (12%): The Health Care segment is up for the seventh consecutive year. This segment will
likely be flat in 2009 based on the weak economy causing delays to development projects. However, the
demographics of the U.S., with the aging baby boomer generation, causes continued demand to support the
growth of this sector for years to come.
Key indicator: The threshold average for healthcare facility construction is 80 million square feet. (2008
estimate: 104 million SF; 2009 projection: 98 million SF; 2001 recession: 85 million)
11
McGraw Hill Construction Outlook 2009 Report
6 of 10
• Educational (10%): The educational sector recorded its fourth consecutive year of growth. This growth
will peak in 2008 and a modest increase of 3% is forecasted for 2009. The stimulus package will likely
affect this sector in 2010.
Key indicator: The threshold average for the education sector is 200 million square feet. (2008 estimate:
223 million SF; 2009 projection: 207 million)
• Highway and Street (9%): Public construction remained strong in 2008 with this sector up nine percent.
Decreasing tax revenue will impact this sector in 2009 but the stimulus package, coupled with the
SAFETEA-LU bill, should support this category for the next several years.
Key Indicator: Federal/State legislation.
• Sewage & Waste Disposal (6%): This sector grew for the sixth consecutive year in 2008. Because the
majority of funding for this category comes from state funding, this sector will likely retreat in 2009.
Key Indicators: State funding programs; Growth of the Residential sector.
• Amusement & Recreation (5%): This category was up mildly in 2008 as sporting areas, theaters, and
convention centers that were planned years ago were largely completed. This sector is directly affected by
the poor economy so revenue will retreat significantly in 2009.
Key Indicator: The threshold average for Amusement & Recreation 65 million square feet. (2008 estimate:
64 million SF; 2009 projection: 60 million)
• Commercial (-8%): The retail market cooled off in 2008 after consistent growth over the past four years.
A slow residential market often leads to slow commercial markets as new retail centers typically follow
residential developments. This sector will continue to slow as numerous large retail companies have filed
for bankruptcy and/or are closing hundreds of stores. New store openings are also on the decline.
Key indicator: the threshold for an average year is 250 million square feet per year (2008 figure was 220
million square feet).
• Residential (-28%): The good news is the Residential market cannot get much worse. Economists forecast
this segment will finally bottom out in 2009 with a 5% drop in revenue.
Key indicator: The threshold for an average year is 1.2 million new single-family homes. The number of
single-family homes peaked in 2006 with the construction of over 1.7 million units. In 2008, this figure
dropped to 582 thousand units.
B. Contractor Profitability:
2008 started the downward half of the most recent construction cycle that started in 2003
and peaked in 2007. The downward half of the current construction cycle will likely run through
2010.
1. Residential Contractors
2008 was a horrific year for residential contractors - net profit margins for public
residential contractors averaged –18.1%. Earlier this decade, residential construction was clearly
the most profitable construction sector. In 2006, the average profit margin for a public residential
contractor was 9.3% - this is a remarkably high figure for construction standards. In 2007,
7 of 10
residential contractors broke even. Through the first couple weeks of January of 2009, net profit
margins slipped further to –21.40%. Profit margins should trend upwards starting in 2010.
2. General Contractors
Net profit margins for publicly traded general contractors trended upward from 2004
through 2007, with a peak of 3.2%. Net profit margins slipped slightly in 2008 to 3.0%. Through
the first month of 2009, net profit margins are down to 2.0%. Continued slippage is forecasted
through 2010 as backlogs shrink and competition increases for available work.
3. Heavy Contractors
Net profit margins for publicly traded Heavy Contractor peaked in mid 2008 at 4.5%.
Currently, the profit margins have pulled back to 3.44%. The reduction in oil prices in the second
half of 2008 likely had a positive effect on profit margins. With the likely increase in public
works funding, heavy contractors should fair better that residential contractors and general
contractors for the next several years.
4. Engineering Companies
Net profit margins for publicly traded engineering companies peaked in mid 2008 at
3.60% - this concluded a four-year run of increasing profitability. The third quarter of 2008
started a downward trend as profits declined to 3.2%. Profit margins will continue to decline
through 2009 to near break-even levels. The long-term outlook for engineering companies is
favorable, however, as enrollment in engineering schools is down, which should mitigate
competition and stabilize pricing. Although this trend is detrimental to the industry as a whole, it
should positively affect the future profitability of existing engineering companies.
5. Specialty Contractors
ENR’s publishes its Top 600 Specialty Contractor list in October of each year, which list
the average profit margin for the prior year. Profit margin was slightly off in 2007 - from 6.9% in
2006 to 6.3% in 2007. Profit margins for specialty contractors will likely fall below 5.5% percent
in 2008 and 2009. Specialty contractors continue to shed workers in order to downsize due to
current market conditions. Profit margin will likely bottom out in 2009 and start to improve as
the construction industry start to grow in 2010.
C. Materials & Labor Escalation:
Inflation on construction materials peaked in mid 2008 with record steel and oil prices.
After the financial crisis in September of 2008, prices for nearly all construction commodities
started to tumble. Global demand for construction materials, which caused unprecedented
escalation in cost of structural steel, has waned significantly causing further reductions in
demand.
8 of 10
Even with the prices reductions, the Building Cost Index posted a 5.3% increase for the
year. The seven year trend will reverse in 2009 and the BCI is forecasted to post a 0.5% decline
in 2009; the first decline in ____ years.
Material price inflation for the past several years is a follows12
Material 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 (forecast)
• Asphalt Paving 8.3 27.7 9.2 22.5 5.4
• Cement 12.7 12.9 5.4 -5.0 -2.3
• Rebar 1.2 6.5 12.3 37.1 -27.8
• Construction Machinery 4.6 4.5 2.9 3.0 2.3
• Fabricated Pipe 9.9 5.4 -1.3 7.7 -3.6
• Gypsum Products 14.3 18.5 -15.2 -9.9 -2.2
• Lumber, Softwood -2.9 -7.0 -9.9 -8.2 -6.8
• Plywood -5.9 -7.6 2.0 -0.7 -7.3
• Aggregates 6.8 9.2 8.7 6.5 0.5
• Sheet Metal 3.9 3.6 3.1 6.2 -1.1
• Structural Steel 2.0 15.4 16.4 30.7 -19.7
Review labor escalation – see graphs.
D. Construction Employment:
The number of construction establishments dropped from 894 thousand in 2007 to 889
thousand in 2008.13
Construction employment was disproportionately down 6.7% when
compared to other industries. 6.8M construction workers, down from well over 7 million in
2007. The unemployment rate for construction is a staggering 15.3%.14
Interestingly,
construction hourly wages were up 5.1% to $ 22.37 in 2008, but the average weekly hours work
is down.
E. Construction Legislation
On January 15, 2008, House Democrats published details of an $825 billion economic
stimulus package to combat the current recession. The two-year package calls for $550 billion in
new spending and $275 billion in tax relief.15
The package would be one of the largest single
government expenditures in U.S. history.
Construction-related spending could exceed $160 billion.16
The proposed bill details
funding for a broad range of construction programs, across many federal departments and
agencies:
• Transportation Projects: $48 billion [majority of funds to DOT highway projects]
• Energy: $32 billion [majority of funds for grid investment and renewable
12
ENR 4th
Quarter Cost Report, December 22/29, 2008
13
http://www.bls.gov/bls/proghome.htm
14
Id.
15
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123202946622485595.html
16
http://enr.construction.com/business_management/finance/2009/0116-StimulusBillBreakdown.asp
9 of 10
energy]
• School Projects: $20 billion [$14B for K-12; $6B for higher education]
• Water & Environ. Projects: $15 billion [majority of funds to EPA clean water projects &
Army Corps eng. projects]
• Housing Projects: $13 billion [mainly for facilities improvements to HUD projects]
• Defense Project: $11 billion [majority of funds to facilities improvements]
• Buildings: $11 billon [majority of funds to new/exiting GSA buildings]
• Health & Human Services: $5 billion [funds mainly cover misc. health and research
facilities]
Macroeconomic Advisers, a forecasting firm, estimated Thursday that a plan of $775
billion stimulus over two years would boost GDP by 3.2%, reduce the unemployment rate by 1.7
percentage points and raise employment by 3.3 million jobs17
III. State of the Surety Industry
A. Premium
B. Loss Ratio
C. Consolidation
17
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123202946622485595.html
10 of 10

More Related Content

What's hot

Marvin Zonis - Challenges for President Obama
Marvin Zonis - Challenges for President ObamaMarvin Zonis - Challenges for President Obama
Marvin Zonis - Challenges for President Obama
Diamond Exchange
 
Recession 2008
Recession 2008Recession 2008
Recession 2008
Vinayak Hegde
 
Chapter 10 - Great Recession
Chapter 10 - Great RecessionChapter 10 - Great Recession
Chapter 10 - Great Recession
Ryan Herzog
 
Alexander - Wyoming Business Report 2013
Alexander - Wyoming Business Report 2013Alexander - Wyoming Business Report 2013
Alexander - Wyoming Business Report 2013
bizwest
 
Inflation Views by the author Bud Labitan
Inflation Views by the author Bud LabitanInflation Views by the author Bud Labitan
Inflation Views by the author Bud Labitan
Bud Labitan
 
Global Economic Outlook
Global Economic OutlookGlobal Economic Outlook
Global Economic Outlook
kktv
 
Ec 111 week 2b bb
Ec 111 week 2b bbEc 111 week 2b bb
Ec 111 week 2b bb
Dan Curtis
 
Recession
RecessionRecession
Recession
Sam Georgi
 
Today´s Economy
Today´s EconomyToday´s Economy
Today´s Economy
Andrea220194
 
Recession
RecessionRecession
Recession
shyamtanna94
 
The Global Economy, No. 3/2011
The Global Economy, No. 3/2011The Global Economy, No. 3/2011
The Global Economy, No. 3/2011
Swedbank
 
Saez U Stopincomes 2007
Saez U Stopincomes 2007Saez U Stopincomes 2007
Saez U Stopincomes 2007
Breaking news
 
The Great Deflation of 2015
The Great Deflation of 2015 The Great Deflation of 2015
The Great Deflation of 2015
QNB Group
 
What do recessions look like?
What do recessions look like?What do recessions look like?
What do recessions look like?
mattbentley34
 
The Great Depression
The Great DepressionThe Great Depression
The Great Depression
priyanka sarkar
 
Chapter 7 - Labor Market
Chapter 7 - Labor MarketChapter 7 - Labor Market
Chapter 7 - Labor Market
Ryan Herzog
 
What is the Nairu and Why Does It Matter?
What is the Nairu and Why Does It Matter?What is the Nairu and Why Does It Matter?
What is the Nairu and Why Does It Matter?
Ed Dolan
 
Chapter 8 - Inflation
Chapter 8 - InflationChapter 8 - Inflation
Chapter 8 - Inflation
Ryan Herzog
 

What's hot (18)

Marvin Zonis - Challenges for President Obama
Marvin Zonis - Challenges for President ObamaMarvin Zonis - Challenges for President Obama
Marvin Zonis - Challenges for President Obama
 
Recession 2008
Recession 2008Recession 2008
Recession 2008
 
Chapter 10 - Great Recession
Chapter 10 - Great RecessionChapter 10 - Great Recession
Chapter 10 - Great Recession
 
Alexander - Wyoming Business Report 2013
Alexander - Wyoming Business Report 2013Alexander - Wyoming Business Report 2013
Alexander - Wyoming Business Report 2013
 
Inflation Views by the author Bud Labitan
Inflation Views by the author Bud LabitanInflation Views by the author Bud Labitan
Inflation Views by the author Bud Labitan
 
Global Economic Outlook
Global Economic OutlookGlobal Economic Outlook
Global Economic Outlook
 
Ec 111 week 2b bb
Ec 111 week 2b bbEc 111 week 2b bb
Ec 111 week 2b bb
 
Recession
RecessionRecession
Recession
 
Today´s Economy
Today´s EconomyToday´s Economy
Today´s Economy
 
Recession
RecessionRecession
Recession
 
The Global Economy, No. 3/2011
The Global Economy, No. 3/2011The Global Economy, No. 3/2011
The Global Economy, No. 3/2011
 
Saez U Stopincomes 2007
Saez U Stopincomes 2007Saez U Stopincomes 2007
Saez U Stopincomes 2007
 
The Great Deflation of 2015
The Great Deflation of 2015 The Great Deflation of 2015
The Great Deflation of 2015
 
What do recessions look like?
What do recessions look like?What do recessions look like?
What do recessions look like?
 
The Great Depression
The Great DepressionThe Great Depression
The Great Depression
 
Chapter 7 - Labor Market
Chapter 7 - Labor MarketChapter 7 - Labor Market
Chapter 7 - Labor Market
 
What is the Nairu and Why Does It Matter?
What is the Nairu and Why Does It Matter?What is the Nairu and Why Does It Matter?
What is the Nairu and Why Does It Matter?
 
Chapter 8 - Inflation
Chapter 8 - InflationChapter 8 - Inflation
Chapter 8 - Inflation
 

Similar to State of the Construction & Surety Industry Report (2008)

State of the Construction and Surety Industry Report (2009)
State of the Construction and Surety Industry Report (2009)State of the Construction and Surety Industry Report (2009)
State of the Construction and Surety Industry Report (2009)
Lisa Dehner
 
State of the Construction and Surety Industry Report (2009)
State of the Construction and Surety Industry Report (2009)State of the Construction and Surety Industry Report (2009)
State of the Construction and Surety Industry Report (2009)
The Vertex Companies, LLC
 
State of the Construction Industry Report (2010)
State of the Construction Industry Report (2010)State of the Construction Industry Report (2010)
State of the Construction Industry Report (2010)
The Vertex Companies, LLC
 
2000 Recession
2000 Recession2000 Recession
2000 Recession
Claudia Brown
 
A strategy for the upturn
A strategy for the upturnA strategy for the upturn
A strategy for the upturn
Wesley Fogel
 
Recession-US & Japan
Recession-US & JapanRecession-US & Japan
Recession-US & Japan
Gaurav Surana
 
Macroeconomics Policies
Macroeconomics PoliciesMacroeconomics Policies
Macroeconomics Policies
crrcaz
 
Great Recession
Great RecessionGreat Recession
Great Recession
Jenny Smith
 
Economic Crisis
Economic CrisisEconomic Crisis
1. SHORT ANSWER (200 words or less) Consider the price .docx
1.   SHORT ANSWER (200 words or less) Consider the price .docx1.   SHORT ANSWER (200 words or less) Consider the price .docx
1. SHORT ANSWER (200 words or less) Consider the price .docx
dorishigh
 
Watch newsletter nov2014
Watch newsletter nov2014Watch newsletter nov2014
Watch newsletter nov2014
Alan Milligan
 
AMA_RP_2011_final
AMA_RP_2011_finalAMA_RP_2011_final
AMA_RP_2011_final
Ravi Parmeswar, MS, MBA
 
Recession
RecessionRecession
Recession
cbpruthvi
 
VERTEX Annual State of the Construction Industry 2018
VERTEX Annual State of the Construction Industry 2018VERTEX Annual State of the Construction Industry 2018
VERTEX Annual State of the Construction Industry 2018
The Vertex Companies, LLC
 
Vertex annual state of the construction industry presentation 2018
Vertex annual state of the construction industry presentation   2018Vertex annual state of the construction industry presentation   2018
Vertex annual state of the construction industry presentation 2018
The Vertex Companies, LLC
 

Similar to State of the Construction & Surety Industry Report (2008) (15)

State of the Construction and Surety Industry Report (2009)
State of the Construction and Surety Industry Report (2009)State of the Construction and Surety Industry Report (2009)
State of the Construction and Surety Industry Report (2009)
 
State of the Construction and Surety Industry Report (2009)
State of the Construction and Surety Industry Report (2009)State of the Construction and Surety Industry Report (2009)
State of the Construction and Surety Industry Report (2009)
 
State of the Construction Industry Report (2010)
State of the Construction Industry Report (2010)State of the Construction Industry Report (2010)
State of the Construction Industry Report (2010)
 
2000 Recession
2000 Recession2000 Recession
2000 Recession
 
A strategy for the upturn
A strategy for the upturnA strategy for the upturn
A strategy for the upturn
 
Recession-US & Japan
Recession-US & JapanRecession-US & Japan
Recession-US & Japan
 
Macroeconomics Policies
Macroeconomics PoliciesMacroeconomics Policies
Macroeconomics Policies
 
Great Recession
Great RecessionGreat Recession
Great Recession
 
Economic Crisis
Economic CrisisEconomic Crisis
Economic Crisis
 
1. SHORT ANSWER (200 words or less) Consider the price .docx
1.   SHORT ANSWER (200 words or less) Consider the price .docx1.   SHORT ANSWER (200 words or less) Consider the price .docx
1. SHORT ANSWER (200 words or less) Consider the price .docx
 
Watch newsletter nov2014
Watch newsletter nov2014Watch newsletter nov2014
Watch newsletter nov2014
 
AMA_RP_2011_final
AMA_RP_2011_finalAMA_RP_2011_final
AMA_RP_2011_final
 
Recession
RecessionRecession
Recession
 
VERTEX Annual State of the Construction Industry 2018
VERTEX Annual State of the Construction Industry 2018VERTEX Annual State of the Construction Industry 2018
VERTEX Annual State of the Construction Industry 2018
 
Vertex annual state of the construction industry presentation 2018
Vertex annual state of the construction industry presentation   2018Vertex annual state of the construction industry presentation   2018
Vertex annual state of the construction industry presentation 2018
 

More from The Vertex Companies, LLC

The State of the Construction Industry - 2020
The State of the Construction Industry - 2020The State of the Construction Industry - 2020
The State of the Construction Industry - 2020
The Vertex Companies, LLC
 
State of the Industry Report Q4 of 2018
State of the Industry Report Q4 of 2018State of the Industry Report Q4 of 2018
State of the Industry Report Q4 of 2018
The Vertex Companies, LLC
 
State of the Industry Report 2017
State of the Industry Report 2017State of the Industry Report 2017
State of the Industry Report 2017
The Vertex Companies, LLC
 
Reasonableness of Construction Completion Costs
Reasonableness of Construction Completion CostsReasonableness of Construction Completion Costs
Reasonableness of Construction Completion Costs
The Vertex Companies, LLC
 
Vertex 2017 mexico habitat trip power point-8.28.2017
Vertex   2017 mexico habitat trip power point-8.28.2017Vertex   2017 mexico habitat trip power point-8.28.2017
Vertex 2017 mexico habitat trip power point-8.28.2017
The Vertex Companies, LLC
 
Construction of Manufactured Homes - Understanding the Hazards & Risks
Construction of Manufactured Homes - Understanding the Hazards & RisksConstruction of Manufactured Homes - Understanding the Hazards & Risks
Construction of Manufactured Homes - Understanding the Hazards & Risks
The Vertex Companies, LLC
 
PLRB - Hail Damage to Thermoset and Thermoplastic Roofing Membranes
PLRB - Hail Damage to Thermoset and Thermoplastic Roofing MembranesPLRB - Hail Damage to Thermoset and Thermoplastic Roofing Membranes
PLRB - Hail Damage to Thermoset and Thermoplastic Roofing Membranes
The Vertex Companies, LLC
 
PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE ANALYSIS OF THE ARCHITECTURAL & ENGINEERING DESIGN ...
PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE ANALYSIS OF THE ARCHITECTURAL & ENGINEERING DESIGN ...PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE ANALYSIS OF THE ARCHITECTURAL & ENGINEERING DESIGN ...
PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE ANALYSIS OF THE ARCHITECTURAL & ENGINEERING DESIGN ...
The Vertex Companies, LLC
 
Environmental Business Journal - VERTEX Growth
Environmental Business Journal - VERTEX GrowthEnvironmental Business Journal - VERTEX Growth
Environmental Business Journal - VERTEX Growth
The Vertex Companies, LLC
 
State of the Construction & Surety Industry (2006 2007)
State of the Construction & Surety Industry (2006 2007)State of the Construction & Surety Industry (2006 2007)
State of the Construction & Surety Industry (2006 2007)
The Vertex Companies, LLC
 
Lifecycles of Large AEC Companies
Lifecycles of Large AEC CompaniesLifecycles of Large AEC Companies
Lifecycles of Large AEC Companies
The Vertex Companies, LLC
 
State of the US Economy (2016)
State of the US Economy (2016)State of the US Economy (2016)
State of the US Economy (2016)
The Vertex Companies, LLC
 
State of the Construction Industry Report (2015)
State of the Construction Industry Report (2015)State of the Construction Industry Report (2015)
State of the Construction Industry Report (2015)
The Vertex Companies, LLC
 
State of the Construction and Surety Industry Report (2016)
State of the Construction and Surety Industry Report (2016)State of the Construction and Surety Industry Report (2016)
State of the Construction and Surety Industry Report (2016)
The Vertex Companies, LLC
 
State of the Construction and Surety Industry Report (2017)
State of the Construction and Surety Industry Report (2017)State of the Construction and Surety Industry Report (2017)
State of the Construction and Surety Industry Report (2017)
The Vertex Companies, LLC
 
VERTEX Construction Delays and Forensic Schedule Analyses
VERTEX Construction Delays and Forensic Schedule AnalysesVERTEX Construction Delays and Forensic Schedule Analyses
VERTEX Construction Delays and Forensic Schedule Analyses
The Vertex Companies, LLC
 

More from The Vertex Companies, LLC (16)

The State of the Construction Industry - 2020
The State of the Construction Industry - 2020The State of the Construction Industry - 2020
The State of the Construction Industry - 2020
 
State of the Industry Report Q4 of 2018
State of the Industry Report Q4 of 2018State of the Industry Report Q4 of 2018
State of the Industry Report Q4 of 2018
 
State of the Industry Report 2017
State of the Industry Report 2017State of the Industry Report 2017
State of the Industry Report 2017
 
Reasonableness of Construction Completion Costs
Reasonableness of Construction Completion CostsReasonableness of Construction Completion Costs
Reasonableness of Construction Completion Costs
 
Vertex 2017 mexico habitat trip power point-8.28.2017
Vertex   2017 mexico habitat trip power point-8.28.2017Vertex   2017 mexico habitat trip power point-8.28.2017
Vertex 2017 mexico habitat trip power point-8.28.2017
 
Construction of Manufactured Homes - Understanding the Hazards & Risks
Construction of Manufactured Homes - Understanding the Hazards & RisksConstruction of Manufactured Homes - Understanding the Hazards & Risks
Construction of Manufactured Homes - Understanding the Hazards & Risks
 
PLRB - Hail Damage to Thermoset and Thermoplastic Roofing Membranes
PLRB - Hail Damage to Thermoset and Thermoplastic Roofing MembranesPLRB - Hail Damage to Thermoset and Thermoplastic Roofing Membranes
PLRB - Hail Damage to Thermoset and Thermoplastic Roofing Membranes
 
PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE ANALYSIS OF THE ARCHITECTURAL & ENGINEERING DESIGN ...
PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE ANALYSIS OF THE ARCHITECTURAL & ENGINEERING DESIGN ...PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE ANALYSIS OF THE ARCHITECTURAL & ENGINEERING DESIGN ...
PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE ANALYSIS OF THE ARCHITECTURAL & ENGINEERING DESIGN ...
 
Environmental Business Journal - VERTEX Growth
Environmental Business Journal - VERTEX GrowthEnvironmental Business Journal - VERTEX Growth
Environmental Business Journal - VERTEX Growth
 
State of the Construction & Surety Industry (2006 2007)
State of the Construction & Surety Industry (2006 2007)State of the Construction & Surety Industry (2006 2007)
State of the Construction & Surety Industry (2006 2007)
 
Lifecycles of Large AEC Companies
Lifecycles of Large AEC CompaniesLifecycles of Large AEC Companies
Lifecycles of Large AEC Companies
 
State of the US Economy (2016)
State of the US Economy (2016)State of the US Economy (2016)
State of the US Economy (2016)
 
State of the Construction Industry Report (2015)
State of the Construction Industry Report (2015)State of the Construction Industry Report (2015)
State of the Construction Industry Report (2015)
 
State of the Construction and Surety Industry Report (2016)
State of the Construction and Surety Industry Report (2016)State of the Construction and Surety Industry Report (2016)
State of the Construction and Surety Industry Report (2016)
 
State of the Construction and Surety Industry Report (2017)
State of the Construction and Surety Industry Report (2017)State of the Construction and Surety Industry Report (2017)
State of the Construction and Surety Industry Report (2017)
 
VERTEX Construction Delays and Forensic Schedule Analyses
VERTEX Construction Delays and Forensic Schedule AnalysesVERTEX Construction Delays and Forensic Schedule Analyses
VERTEX Construction Delays and Forensic Schedule Analyses
 

Recently uploaded

Introduction to trading Solana Memecoins.docx
Introduction to trading Solana Memecoins.docxIntroduction to trading Solana Memecoins.docx
Introduction to trading Solana Memecoins.docx
Raul Canessa
 
How to Mitigate Transition and Physical Risks in the Financial Sector
How to Mitigate Transition and Physical Risks in the Financial SectorHow to Mitigate Transition and Physical Risks in the Financial Sector
How to Mitigate Transition and Physical Risks in the Financial Sector
rimandani2023
 
Most Girls Call Navi Mumbai 9930245274 Provide Best And Top Girl Service And ...
Most Girls Call Navi Mumbai 9930245274 Provide Best And Top Girl Service And ...Most Girls Call Navi Mumbai 9930245274 Provide Best And Top Girl Service And ...
Most Girls Call Navi Mumbai 9930245274 Provide Best And Top Girl Service And ...
sharonblush
 
Lucknow Girls Call Kesar Bagh 08630512678 Provide Best And Top Girl Service A...
Lucknow Girls Call Kesar Bagh 08630512678 Provide Best And Top Girl Service A...Lucknow Girls Call Kesar Bagh 08630512678 Provide Best And Top Girl Service A...
Lucknow Girls Call Kesar Bagh 08630512678 Provide Best And Top Girl Service A...
eshikajshani
 
UCSC diploma, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore degree
UCSC diploma, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore degreeUCSC diploma, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore degree
UCSC diploma, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore degree
GlethDanold
 
Amul Milk: From there to here to being everywhere
Amul Milk: From there to here to being everywhereAmul Milk: From there to here to being everywhere
Amul Milk: From there to here to being everywhere
chetankumar9855
 
Chapter 1 Introduction to Management.pdf
Chapter 1 Introduction to  Management.pdfChapter 1 Introduction to  Management.pdf
Chapter 1 Introduction to Management.pdf
rishavchakrabarti2
 
University of California, Irvine degree offer diploma Transcript
University of California, Irvine degree offer diploma TranscriptUniversity of California, Irvine degree offer diploma Transcript
University of California, Irvine degree offer diploma Transcript
yyfabne
 
Goods and Service Tax new goods and service tax
Goods and Service Tax new goods and service taxGoods and Service Tax new goods and service tax
Goods and Service Tax new goods and service tax
AadityaBBAB178
 
Introduction to Islamic Banking and Finance.Part4
Introduction to Islamic Banking and Finance.Part4Introduction to Islamic Banking and Finance.Part4
Introduction to Islamic Banking and Finance.Part4
NasrudinMohamedAhmed
 
Girls Call Laxmi Nagar 9711199171 Provide Best And Top Girl Service And No1 i...
Girls Call Laxmi Nagar 9711199171 Provide Best And Top Girl Service And No1 i...Girls Call Laxmi Nagar 9711199171 Provide Best And Top Girl Service And No1 i...
Girls Call Laxmi Nagar 9711199171 Provide Best And Top Girl Service And No1 i...
Ak47
 
Girls Call Marine lines 9910780858 Provide Best And Top Girl Service And No1 ...
Girls Call Marine lines 9910780858 Provide Best And Top Girl Service And No1 ...Girls Call Marine lines 9910780858 Provide Best And Top Girl Service And No1 ...
Girls Call Marine lines 9910780858 Provide Best And Top Girl Service And No1 ...
maigasapphire
 
Cornell University degree offer diploma Transcript
Cornell University degree offer diploma TranscriptCornell University degree offer diploma Transcript
Cornell University degree offer diploma Transcript
yyfabne
 
AI.It's simple to believe artificial intelligence (AI) has the solution to ev...
AI.It's simple to believe artificial intelligence (AI) has the solution to ev...AI.It's simple to believe artificial intelligence (AI) has the solution to ev...
AI.It's simple to believe artificial intelligence (AI) has the solution to ev...
Thailand Appreciative Inquiry Network
 
GUIA_LEGAL_CHAPTER-13_ACCOUNTING REGULATION.pdf
GUIA_LEGAL_CHAPTER-13_ACCOUNTING REGULATION.pdfGUIA_LEGAL_CHAPTER-13_ACCOUNTING REGULATION.pdf
GUIA_LEGAL_CHAPTER-13_ACCOUNTING REGULATION.pdf
ProexportColombia1
 
Introduction to Islamic Banking and Finance.Part3
Introduction to Islamic Banking and Finance.Part3Introduction to Islamic Banking and Finance.Part3
Introduction to Islamic Banking and Finance.Part3
NasrudinMohamedAhmed
 
High Profile Girls Call Delhi 🎈🔥9711199171 🔥💋🎈 Provide Best And Top Girl Serv...
High Profile Girls Call Delhi 🎈🔥9711199171 🔥💋🎈 Provide Best And Top Girl Serv...High Profile Girls Call Delhi 🎈🔥9711199171 🔥💋🎈 Provide Best And Top Girl Serv...
High Profile Girls Call Delhi 🎈🔥9711199171 🔥💋🎈 Provide Best And Top Girl Serv...
fatima shekh$A17
 
The Growth Story An Overview - India. .pptx
The Growth Story An Overview  - India. .pptxThe Growth Story An Overview  - India. .pptx
The Growth Story An Overview - India. .pptx
RakeshBaptista1
 
Girls Call DN Nagar 9910780858 Provide Best And Top Girl Service And No1 in City
Girls Call DN Nagar 9910780858 Provide Best And Top Girl Service And No1 in CityGirls Call DN Nagar 9910780858 Provide Best And Top Girl Service And No1 in City
Girls Call DN Nagar 9910780858 Provide Best And Top Girl Service And No1 in City
margaretblush
 
Abortion pills in Muscat(+918133066128) Cytotec pills buy Oman
Abortion pills in Muscat(+918133066128) Cytotec pills buy OmanAbortion pills in Muscat(+918133066128) Cytotec pills buy Oman
Abortion pills in Muscat(+918133066128) Cytotec pills buy Oman
maishakhanam230
 

Recently uploaded (20)

Introduction to trading Solana Memecoins.docx
Introduction to trading Solana Memecoins.docxIntroduction to trading Solana Memecoins.docx
Introduction to trading Solana Memecoins.docx
 
How to Mitigate Transition and Physical Risks in the Financial Sector
How to Mitigate Transition and Physical Risks in the Financial SectorHow to Mitigate Transition and Physical Risks in the Financial Sector
How to Mitigate Transition and Physical Risks in the Financial Sector
 
Most Girls Call Navi Mumbai 9930245274 Provide Best And Top Girl Service And ...
Most Girls Call Navi Mumbai 9930245274 Provide Best And Top Girl Service And ...Most Girls Call Navi Mumbai 9930245274 Provide Best And Top Girl Service And ...
Most Girls Call Navi Mumbai 9930245274 Provide Best And Top Girl Service And ...
 
Lucknow Girls Call Kesar Bagh 08630512678 Provide Best And Top Girl Service A...
Lucknow Girls Call Kesar Bagh 08630512678 Provide Best And Top Girl Service A...Lucknow Girls Call Kesar Bagh 08630512678 Provide Best And Top Girl Service A...
Lucknow Girls Call Kesar Bagh 08630512678 Provide Best And Top Girl Service A...
 
UCSC diploma, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore degree
UCSC diploma, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore degreeUCSC diploma, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore degree
UCSC diploma, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore degree
 
Amul Milk: From there to here to being everywhere
Amul Milk: From there to here to being everywhereAmul Milk: From there to here to being everywhere
Amul Milk: From there to here to being everywhere
 
Chapter 1 Introduction to Management.pdf
Chapter 1 Introduction to  Management.pdfChapter 1 Introduction to  Management.pdf
Chapter 1 Introduction to Management.pdf
 
University of California, Irvine degree offer diploma Transcript
University of California, Irvine degree offer diploma TranscriptUniversity of California, Irvine degree offer diploma Transcript
University of California, Irvine degree offer diploma Transcript
 
Goods and Service Tax new goods and service tax
Goods and Service Tax new goods and service taxGoods and Service Tax new goods and service tax
Goods and Service Tax new goods and service tax
 
Introduction to Islamic Banking and Finance.Part4
Introduction to Islamic Banking and Finance.Part4Introduction to Islamic Banking and Finance.Part4
Introduction to Islamic Banking and Finance.Part4
 
Girls Call Laxmi Nagar 9711199171 Provide Best And Top Girl Service And No1 i...
Girls Call Laxmi Nagar 9711199171 Provide Best And Top Girl Service And No1 i...Girls Call Laxmi Nagar 9711199171 Provide Best And Top Girl Service And No1 i...
Girls Call Laxmi Nagar 9711199171 Provide Best And Top Girl Service And No1 i...
 
Girls Call Marine lines 9910780858 Provide Best And Top Girl Service And No1 ...
Girls Call Marine lines 9910780858 Provide Best And Top Girl Service And No1 ...Girls Call Marine lines 9910780858 Provide Best And Top Girl Service And No1 ...
Girls Call Marine lines 9910780858 Provide Best And Top Girl Service And No1 ...
 
Cornell University degree offer diploma Transcript
Cornell University degree offer diploma TranscriptCornell University degree offer diploma Transcript
Cornell University degree offer diploma Transcript
 
AI.It's simple to believe artificial intelligence (AI) has the solution to ev...
AI.It's simple to believe artificial intelligence (AI) has the solution to ev...AI.It's simple to believe artificial intelligence (AI) has the solution to ev...
AI.It's simple to believe artificial intelligence (AI) has the solution to ev...
 
GUIA_LEGAL_CHAPTER-13_ACCOUNTING REGULATION.pdf
GUIA_LEGAL_CHAPTER-13_ACCOUNTING REGULATION.pdfGUIA_LEGAL_CHAPTER-13_ACCOUNTING REGULATION.pdf
GUIA_LEGAL_CHAPTER-13_ACCOUNTING REGULATION.pdf
 
Introduction to Islamic Banking and Finance.Part3
Introduction to Islamic Banking and Finance.Part3Introduction to Islamic Banking and Finance.Part3
Introduction to Islamic Banking and Finance.Part3
 
High Profile Girls Call Delhi 🎈🔥9711199171 🔥💋🎈 Provide Best And Top Girl Serv...
High Profile Girls Call Delhi 🎈🔥9711199171 🔥💋🎈 Provide Best And Top Girl Serv...High Profile Girls Call Delhi 🎈🔥9711199171 🔥💋🎈 Provide Best And Top Girl Serv...
High Profile Girls Call Delhi 🎈🔥9711199171 🔥💋🎈 Provide Best And Top Girl Serv...
 
The Growth Story An Overview - India. .pptx
The Growth Story An Overview  - India. .pptxThe Growth Story An Overview  - India. .pptx
The Growth Story An Overview - India. .pptx
 
Girls Call DN Nagar 9910780858 Provide Best And Top Girl Service And No1 in City
Girls Call DN Nagar 9910780858 Provide Best And Top Girl Service And No1 in CityGirls Call DN Nagar 9910780858 Provide Best And Top Girl Service And No1 in City
Girls Call DN Nagar 9910780858 Provide Best And Top Girl Service And No1 in City
 
Abortion pills in Muscat(+918133066128) Cytotec pills buy Oman
Abortion pills in Muscat(+918133066128) Cytotec pills buy OmanAbortion pills in Muscat(+918133066128) Cytotec pills buy Oman
Abortion pills in Muscat(+918133066128) Cytotec pills buy Oman
 

State of the Construction & Surety Industry Report (2008)

  • 1. 2008 State of the Construction & Surety Industry Report THE FIVE YEAR CONSTRUCTION BOOM IS OVER The Construction Cycle Peaked…Here Comes the Trough Prepared By William J. McConnell Jr. P.E. Vertex Engineering Services, Inc. 1 of 10
  • 2. I. State of the U.S. Economy A. Definition of a Recession The technical definition of a recession varies from economist to economist. One widely accepted definition is the reduction of a country’s gross domestic product (“GDP”) for at least two consecutive quarters, otherwise known as the “two quarter rule.”1 Remarkably, the U.S. is not in a recession if you accept this meaning. The real GDP, the output of goods and services produced by labor and property located in the U.S., was down 0.2% in the fourth quarter of 2007 and was also down 0.5% in the third quarter of 2008 – note the two contractions were not consecutive.2 This definition of a recession has obviously come under scrutiny of late as current economic conditions are being compared to the Great Depression. The U.S. Department of Labor recognizes a recession by the National Bureau of Economic Research’s (“NBER”) definition: "a significant decline in [the] economic activity spread across the economy, lasting more than a few months, normally visible in real GDP growth, real personal income, employment (non-farm payrolls), industrial production, and wholesale-retail sales."3 Based on this definition, the U.S. entered a recessionary cycle in December of 2007. According to NBER, the U.S. economy has run through 23 economic cycles since year 1900; each cycle includes a contraction phase and an expansion phase.4 See Chart 01 for a graphic illustration of each contraction phase. For the purpose of this report, I also accept NBER’s definition of a recession. B. Historical Recessionary Cycles – 16 months Subsequent to the Great Depression, the average recession is 10.4 months in duration, with the shortest recession lasting 6 months and the longest recession lasting 16 months. The U.S. economy is in its 14th month of the current recession. Based on NBER’s empirical data, the economy should start expanding no later than the summer of 2009. I would be remiss, however, if I failed to note that the Great Depression caused a contraction lasting 43 months, or 3.5 years. Aug-29 to Mar-33: 43 months Dec-69 to Nov-70: 11 months May-37 to Jun-38: 13 months Nov-73 to Mar-75: 16 months Feb-45 to Oct-45: 8 months Jan-80 to Jul-80: 6 months Nov-48 to Oct-49: 11 months Jul-81 to Nov-82: 16 months Jul-53 to May-54: 10 months Jul-90 to Mar-91: 8 months Aug-57 to Apr-58: 8 months Mar-2001 to Nov-2001: 8 months Apr-60 to Feb-61: 10 months Dec-2007 to ______: 14 months as of Jan-2009 1 BusinessDictionary.com 2 http://www.bea.gov/newsreleases/national/gdp/2008/pdf/gdp308f.pdf 3 http://www.nber.org/cycles/dec2008.html 4 http://wwwdev.nber.org/cycles/cyclesmain.html 2 of 10
  • 3. C. Federal Action to Combat the Current Recession The federal government reacts swiftly to combat recessionary cycles – this was not the case seventy years ago. Through swift reductions of the federal funds rate and through the liberal exercise of congressional spending power, the length of a recession can be greatly reduced. The federal funds rate is the interest rate at which the Federal Reserve lends banks money – it is a direct method the Federal Reserve Chairman uses to regulate the supply of money in the U.S. economy.5 Low interest rates, coupled with federal regulation, should permit homeowners to refinance their homes to achieve affordable payment schedules. When this happens, consumer spending will start to increase (consumer spending makes up 70% of the GDP).6 Last week House Democrats proposed an $825 billion stimulus package to jump-start the economy. Much of the proposed bill relates to construction spending. Construction is the largest services category of the GDP. The stimulus package should provide businesses with additional revenue and profits. Economists believe the stimulus package will prevent the unemployment rate from hitting double digits, and may even cause a reduction of 1.7%.7 D. A Significant Rise In Unemployment Rate = Start of a Recession The unemployment rate soared from 4.9% to7.2% in 2008.8 Economists predict the unemployment rate will increase to 8% by the end of the first quarter of 2009. During the last seven recessions, the unemployment rate increased an average of 44%. Currently, the unemployment rate is up 47%. An unemployment rate of 8% would represent a 63% increase from the start of the current recession. Start of Recession End of Recession Overall Increase • Apr-1960: 5.2% Feb-1961: 6.9% 33% increase • Dec-1969: 3.5% Nov-1970: 5.9% 74% increase • Nov-1973: 4.8% Mar-1975: 8.6% 79% increase (16month) • Jan-1980: 6.3% Jul-1980: 7.8% 24% increase • Jul-1981: 7.2% Nov-1982: 10.8% 50% increase (16 month) • Jul-1990: 5.5% Mar-1991: 6.8% 24% increase • Mar-2001: 4.3% Nov-2001: 5.5% 28% increase • Dec-2007: 4.9% Dec-2008: 7.2% 47% increase to date A substantial increase in unemployment is an excellent indicator for the start of a recession. However, unemployment generally continues for a period of time after a recessionary cycle ceases – as was the case in half of the recessions noted above. 5 http://www.federalreserve.gov/monetarypolicy/fomc.htm 6 Summarized comments from Wilbur Ross, The billionaire chairman of W.L. Ross & Co. specializes in turning around troubled companies. 7 http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123202946622485595.html 8 http://data.bls.gov/PDQ/servlet/SurveyOutputServlet?data_tool=latest_numbers&series_id=LNS14000000 3 of 10
  • 4. E. A Significant Decrease in the CPI = The End of the Recession Is Near The Consumer Price Index (“CPI”) represents “the price paid by urban consumers for a representative basket of goods and services.”9 In other words, the CPI is an inflation indicator. Historically, CPI growth typically peaks during the first full year of a recession, and then once CPI growth starts to slow, the end of the recession is within one year away. Start of Recession End of Recession • 1960: 1.7% 1961: 1.0% • 1969/70:5.7% 1971: 4.4% • 1973/74: 11.0% 1975: 9.1% • 1981: 10.3% 1982: 6.2% • 1990: 5.4% 1991: 4.2% • 2000: 3.4% 2001: 2.8% • 2008: 3.8% 2009: The CPI peaked in July of 2008 and has been on a steady decline ever since. The CPI was 220 in July of 08 and slipped by 210 in Dec of 08, which is the level the CPI was at the month before the recession started in Nov of 07. Based on historical data, the current recession should cease in 2009 so long as there are no inflationary spikes in the costs of goods or oil. The CPI index does not account for food and energy, as the pricing for these items are too volatile in nature. Accordingly, a review of crude oil pricing is important. As noted below, the average price of crude peaked in the first full year of the recession and dropped in the second year of the recession. One exception to this rule was the 1973 – 1975 recession. The Yom Kippur War started with an attack on Israel by Syria and Egypt on October 5, 1973. The U.S. and many countries in the western world showed support for Israel. As a result of this support several Arab exporting nations imposed an embargo on the countries supporting Israel, thus increasing the average price of oil.10 Start of Recession End of Recession • 1960: $20.88/barrel 1961: $20.25/barrel • 1969/70:$19.22/barrel 1971: $18.88/barrel • 1973/74: $40.29/barrel 1975: $48.21/barrel (does not follow trend due to Yom Kippur War) • 1981: $83.54/barrel 1982: $70.07/barrel • 1990: $37.69/barrel 1991: $31.51/barrel • 2000: $33.79/barrel 2001: $27.59/barrel • 2008: $99.65/barrel 2009: $32.94/barrel (as of Jan-2009) G. Economic Prediction Empirical data suggests that 2009 is the classic second recessionary year: CPI growth peaked in 2008; oil prices peaked in 2008; and a drastic swing in unemployment took place in 2008. The Obama administration brings with it a sense of hope for most people – the rubber will 9 http://www.bls.gov/cpi/ 10 http://www.wtrg.com/prices.htm 4 of 10
  • 5. hit the road if the stimulus bill is passed. The other important factor is the general public become hardened by bad news in the second year of a recession. The markets are not as volatile when bad news is expected as this expectation is built into the marketplace – this was not the case one year ago. Although many view former Federal Reserve Chairman Allen Greenspan as an accomplice for the current recession, he made a very important observation in his 2007 autobiography titled The Age of Turbulence. Mr. Greenspan noted that he was always surprised at the resilience of the U.S. economy and how fast it worked out of recessionary cycles. He more or less noted that when you are in the trees, it seems like the recession will never end – and every recession has its unique differences. When I’m writing my state of the industry report next year, I hold this holds true. II. State of the Construction Industry As noted in my previous reports, as goes the economy, so goes the construction industry. This time, however, the reverse can be said. The residential construction sector, combined with subprime lending, caused the current recession. In the 1990s, the residential sector represented approximately 43% of all construction spending. Between 2000 and 2006, this category grew to well over 50% of the construction sector. In 2008, the residential market share slipped to 32% of the construction sector, the lowest percentage in over two decades. As a result, put in place construction is down for the second straight year from the 2006 peak. The US Census Bureau estimates put in place construction at $1.09 trillion for 2008, its lowest level since 2004. The public construction market continues to grow at a rapid pace. In 2008, the public construction market represents 29% of the construction market – this is its highest level since 1991. This trend will continue over the next two years as the federal government will increase funding for construction projects to stimulate the economy. Heavy contractors that work for state DOTs are well positioned to reap the rewards of the imminent funding package. General contractors that are qualified to complete work for the EPA, GSA, and Army Corps of Engineers should also be well positioned. The five year construction boom between 2003 and 2007, coupled with a global construction boom, 2004/2005 were the best growth years the construction market has seen. This caused major inflation in construction materials. This poor years is a result of –28% reduction in residential construction. The other two sectors with negative growth were commercial – down 8%, and communications, down 14%. Other than that, the fourteen other sectors were up a lot: A. Market Sector Review Aside from the Residential and Commercial sectors, the balance of construction categories performed reasonably well in 2008. For the most part, the sectors that realized modest to significant gains are likely going to see revenue retreat in 2009 – particularly private sectors that rely on private financing. Furthermore, the stimulus package, if passed, will not have an 5 of 10
  • 6. effect on construction revenue until 2010 as projects need to be formally selected, designed, put out to bid, and awarded. The following is a brief 2008 performance review and 2009 forecast for key construction categories.11 • Manufacturing (69%): Although square footage is considerably down over the past six years, construction revenue from this sector boomed in 2008 as a result of multibillion dollar oil refinery and steel processing projects. This category will retreat in 2009 as square footage is estimated to drop from 85 million square feet to 77 million square feet, and fewer mega-projects are planned to start. Key Indicator: The threshold average for Manufacturing is 110 million square feet. (2008 estimate: 85 million SF; 2009 projection: 77 million) • Power (44%): Due to the funding provided by the Energy Policy Act of 2005, the Power category had a banner year. Although 2009 revenue will likely drop somewhat, the stimulus package, if passed, should support this sector for years to come. In addition, the nuclear industry has been revitalized after being dormant for over two decades and two new power plants in the planning phase. Key Indicator: Federal/State legislation; nuclear power consortium NuStart Energy (the agency that selected the two new nuclear power sites). • Lodging (35%): The lodging sector had its fifth straight growth year. With the tightening credit market, unemployment, reduction in occupancy rates, and reduction in business travel, this sector is forecasted to shrink in 2009. Key Indicator: The threshold average for hotel construction is 60 million square feet. (2008 estimate: 88 million SF; 2009 projection: 70 million SF; 2001 recession: ~40 million SF) • Office (16%): The office sector had its fifth straight growth year. Because of credit conditions and unemployment, this sector will be substantially off in 2009. In addition, vacancy rates, which continue to be reasonably low, are expected to rise in 2009. Key indicator: The threshold average for office construction is 200 million square feet. (2008 estimate: 180 million SF; 2009 projection: 150 million SF; 2001 recession: 155 million); The threshold for vacancy rates is approximately 12% - anything below is good, anything above bad (in 2008, the vacancy rate for downtown office building is approximately 11%, in the late 1980s, the vacancy rate was above 15%). • Water Supply (13%): In 2008, this category recorded impressive gains for the sixth consecutive year. Funding for water supply and water quality projects comes from the state level. Because states currently have funding issues due to shrinking tax revenue, this sector will likely be flat in 2009. By 2010, however, the stimulus package, if passed, should provide extensive funding for water projects. Key Indicator: Federal/State legislation. • Health Care (12%): The Health Care segment is up for the seventh consecutive year. This segment will likely be flat in 2009 based on the weak economy causing delays to development projects. However, the demographics of the U.S., with the aging baby boomer generation, causes continued demand to support the growth of this sector for years to come. Key indicator: The threshold average for healthcare facility construction is 80 million square feet. (2008 estimate: 104 million SF; 2009 projection: 98 million SF; 2001 recession: 85 million) 11 McGraw Hill Construction Outlook 2009 Report 6 of 10
  • 7. • Educational (10%): The educational sector recorded its fourth consecutive year of growth. This growth will peak in 2008 and a modest increase of 3% is forecasted for 2009. The stimulus package will likely affect this sector in 2010. Key indicator: The threshold average for the education sector is 200 million square feet. (2008 estimate: 223 million SF; 2009 projection: 207 million) • Highway and Street (9%): Public construction remained strong in 2008 with this sector up nine percent. Decreasing tax revenue will impact this sector in 2009 but the stimulus package, coupled with the SAFETEA-LU bill, should support this category for the next several years. Key Indicator: Federal/State legislation. • Sewage & Waste Disposal (6%): This sector grew for the sixth consecutive year in 2008. Because the majority of funding for this category comes from state funding, this sector will likely retreat in 2009. Key Indicators: State funding programs; Growth of the Residential sector. • Amusement & Recreation (5%): This category was up mildly in 2008 as sporting areas, theaters, and convention centers that were planned years ago were largely completed. This sector is directly affected by the poor economy so revenue will retreat significantly in 2009. Key Indicator: The threshold average for Amusement & Recreation 65 million square feet. (2008 estimate: 64 million SF; 2009 projection: 60 million) • Commercial (-8%): The retail market cooled off in 2008 after consistent growth over the past four years. A slow residential market often leads to slow commercial markets as new retail centers typically follow residential developments. This sector will continue to slow as numerous large retail companies have filed for bankruptcy and/or are closing hundreds of stores. New store openings are also on the decline. Key indicator: the threshold for an average year is 250 million square feet per year (2008 figure was 220 million square feet). • Residential (-28%): The good news is the Residential market cannot get much worse. Economists forecast this segment will finally bottom out in 2009 with a 5% drop in revenue. Key indicator: The threshold for an average year is 1.2 million new single-family homes. The number of single-family homes peaked in 2006 with the construction of over 1.7 million units. In 2008, this figure dropped to 582 thousand units. B. Contractor Profitability: 2008 started the downward half of the most recent construction cycle that started in 2003 and peaked in 2007. The downward half of the current construction cycle will likely run through 2010. 1. Residential Contractors 2008 was a horrific year for residential contractors - net profit margins for public residential contractors averaged –18.1%. Earlier this decade, residential construction was clearly the most profitable construction sector. In 2006, the average profit margin for a public residential contractor was 9.3% - this is a remarkably high figure for construction standards. In 2007, 7 of 10
  • 8. residential contractors broke even. Through the first couple weeks of January of 2009, net profit margins slipped further to –21.40%. Profit margins should trend upwards starting in 2010. 2. General Contractors Net profit margins for publicly traded general contractors trended upward from 2004 through 2007, with a peak of 3.2%. Net profit margins slipped slightly in 2008 to 3.0%. Through the first month of 2009, net profit margins are down to 2.0%. Continued slippage is forecasted through 2010 as backlogs shrink and competition increases for available work. 3. Heavy Contractors Net profit margins for publicly traded Heavy Contractor peaked in mid 2008 at 4.5%. Currently, the profit margins have pulled back to 3.44%. The reduction in oil prices in the second half of 2008 likely had a positive effect on profit margins. With the likely increase in public works funding, heavy contractors should fair better that residential contractors and general contractors for the next several years. 4. Engineering Companies Net profit margins for publicly traded engineering companies peaked in mid 2008 at 3.60% - this concluded a four-year run of increasing profitability. The third quarter of 2008 started a downward trend as profits declined to 3.2%. Profit margins will continue to decline through 2009 to near break-even levels. The long-term outlook for engineering companies is favorable, however, as enrollment in engineering schools is down, which should mitigate competition and stabilize pricing. Although this trend is detrimental to the industry as a whole, it should positively affect the future profitability of existing engineering companies. 5. Specialty Contractors ENR’s publishes its Top 600 Specialty Contractor list in October of each year, which list the average profit margin for the prior year. Profit margin was slightly off in 2007 - from 6.9% in 2006 to 6.3% in 2007. Profit margins for specialty contractors will likely fall below 5.5% percent in 2008 and 2009. Specialty contractors continue to shed workers in order to downsize due to current market conditions. Profit margin will likely bottom out in 2009 and start to improve as the construction industry start to grow in 2010. C. Materials & Labor Escalation: Inflation on construction materials peaked in mid 2008 with record steel and oil prices. After the financial crisis in September of 2008, prices for nearly all construction commodities started to tumble. Global demand for construction materials, which caused unprecedented escalation in cost of structural steel, has waned significantly causing further reductions in demand. 8 of 10
  • 9. Even with the prices reductions, the Building Cost Index posted a 5.3% increase for the year. The seven year trend will reverse in 2009 and the BCI is forecasted to post a 0.5% decline in 2009; the first decline in ____ years. Material price inflation for the past several years is a follows12 Material 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 (forecast) • Asphalt Paving 8.3 27.7 9.2 22.5 5.4 • Cement 12.7 12.9 5.4 -5.0 -2.3 • Rebar 1.2 6.5 12.3 37.1 -27.8 • Construction Machinery 4.6 4.5 2.9 3.0 2.3 • Fabricated Pipe 9.9 5.4 -1.3 7.7 -3.6 • Gypsum Products 14.3 18.5 -15.2 -9.9 -2.2 • Lumber, Softwood -2.9 -7.0 -9.9 -8.2 -6.8 • Plywood -5.9 -7.6 2.0 -0.7 -7.3 • Aggregates 6.8 9.2 8.7 6.5 0.5 • Sheet Metal 3.9 3.6 3.1 6.2 -1.1 • Structural Steel 2.0 15.4 16.4 30.7 -19.7 Review labor escalation – see graphs. D. Construction Employment: The number of construction establishments dropped from 894 thousand in 2007 to 889 thousand in 2008.13 Construction employment was disproportionately down 6.7% when compared to other industries. 6.8M construction workers, down from well over 7 million in 2007. The unemployment rate for construction is a staggering 15.3%.14 Interestingly, construction hourly wages were up 5.1% to $ 22.37 in 2008, but the average weekly hours work is down. E. Construction Legislation On January 15, 2008, House Democrats published details of an $825 billion economic stimulus package to combat the current recession. The two-year package calls for $550 billion in new spending and $275 billion in tax relief.15 The package would be one of the largest single government expenditures in U.S. history. Construction-related spending could exceed $160 billion.16 The proposed bill details funding for a broad range of construction programs, across many federal departments and agencies: • Transportation Projects: $48 billion [majority of funds to DOT highway projects] • Energy: $32 billion [majority of funds for grid investment and renewable 12 ENR 4th Quarter Cost Report, December 22/29, 2008 13 http://www.bls.gov/bls/proghome.htm 14 Id. 15 http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123202946622485595.html 16 http://enr.construction.com/business_management/finance/2009/0116-StimulusBillBreakdown.asp 9 of 10
  • 10. energy] • School Projects: $20 billion [$14B for K-12; $6B for higher education] • Water & Environ. Projects: $15 billion [majority of funds to EPA clean water projects & Army Corps eng. projects] • Housing Projects: $13 billion [mainly for facilities improvements to HUD projects] • Defense Project: $11 billion [majority of funds to facilities improvements] • Buildings: $11 billon [majority of funds to new/exiting GSA buildings] • Health & Human Services: $5 billion [funds mainly cover misc. health and research facilities] Macroeconomic Advisers, a forecasting firm, estimated Thursday that a plan of $775 billion stimulus over two years would boost GDP by 3.2%, reduce the unemployment rate by 1.7 percentage points and raise employment by 3.3 million jobs17 III. State of the Surety Industry A. Premium B. Loss Ratio C. Consolidation 17 http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123202946622485595.html 10 of 10