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Conditioning Air Professionals & the Industry
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Tampa, US
11:00 pm, June 23, 2024
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SMACNA Chief Economist Shares Insights and Forecasts for 2024

Dr. Anirban Basu, Chief Economist SMACNA

Dr. Anirban Basu, Chief Economist for the Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors’ National Association ( SMACNA), shares his insights and forecasts about the economy and its impact on the construction industry for 2024:            

  • Growing Industry Employment 
  • Given the elevated numbers of construction job openings presently and an abundance of megaprojects set to break ground, industry employment is poised to expand in 2024.
  • Growth Opportunities in Megaprojects
  • Various metropolitan areas will experience a surge in manufacturing-related megaprojects.
  • Manufacturing-related megaprojects will surge in 2024 across the country as a result of reshoring in supply chains.
  • Mixed Outlook for Contractors
  • The upcoming year will present varied challenges and opportunities for contractors. Contractors focusing on public works are poised for a successful year thanks to increased funding from Infrastructure legislation, while those working on residential properties will likely see a shore up of projects due to a tough real estate market.
  • Economic Themes
  • The economy’s focus on reshoring supply chains will remain prominent, alongside expectations for increased publicly financed construction in the upcoming year.
  • Factors to Consider
  • While recent good news on inflation is a tailwind there are several risks to look out for in 2024 including:
  • High consumer debt
  • Geopolitical uncertainty
  • Stricter credit conditions
  • The government’s increasing debt burden
  • On a positive note, bond markets suggest a likely decline in interest rates by mid-2024. This decrease could benefit by providing better support for project financing and backlog generation.
  • Challenges Ahead
  • For many sheet metal and related contractors, the greatest challenges will continue to take the form of retaining and recruiting talent. Wage pressures will remain apparent economy-wide and in place if the economy slows at some point next year. 
  • The team at SMACNA and their union partners at SMART will continue to advocate for students to become involved in the trades to help develop the next generation of talent. 

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