Did the Fiscal Cliff Push Local Construction Over the Edge?


What is the future of construction in the tri-state region? What does the current state of the economy mean for construction firms, materials suppliers, communities, and construction professionals? Three local Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) chapters are hosting Anirban Basu and Dr. Bill Dunkelberg, two nationally-recognized economists, for an economic forecast and analysis at the Regional Economic Symposium Jan. 22 at the Hilton Philadelphia Airport.

In addition, the Symposium will feature a panel discussion with representatives of ARCO Development, E. Kahn Development Corp., and University of Delaware talking about future construction projects.

"With at least some of the fiscal cliff issues now behind us, prospects for renewed construction activity momentum have improved," said Anirban Basu, chief economist for ABC National. "While improvement in construction activity will likely require several months to become apparent, broader economic factors suggest that pent-up demand for construction has been building.

"ABC's 2013 construction forecast has remained consistent with the notion that America would not fall off her fiscal cliff and construction momentum would be renewed by the latter part of next year," Basu said. "What has transpired indicates that this forecast remains likely to come true."

Anirban Basu is chairman and CEO of Sage Policy Group, Inc., an economic and policy consulting firm in Baltimore. Mr. Basu is one of the Mid-Atlantic region's most recognizable economists, in part because of his consulting work on behalf of numerous clients, including prominent developers, bankers, brokerage houses, energy suppliers and law firms.

Dr. Bill Dunkelberg is a nationally known authority on small business, entrepreneurship, consumer behavior and consumer credit and government policy. Currently Emeritus Professor of Economics at Temple University, he is chief economist for the National Federation of Independent Business and economic strategist for Boenning & Scattergood.

The Regional Economic Symposium is Jan. 22 beginning with breakfast and registration at 7:30 a.m. Tickets are $90. The event is presented by Associated Builders and Contractors chapters in Delaware, Eastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey. It is sponsored by Gorski Engineering, Hutchinson Mechanical, Ehret Construction Company, Venzie, Phillips and Warshawer, and The Mercadien Group. More information is available at abcsymposium.tumblr.com.

ABC Eastern Pennsylvania Chapter represents more than 15,000 Merit construction employees who work for more than 450 member companies. ABC was founded on the belief that construction projects should be awarded on merit to the most qualified and lowest responsible bidder. Nationally, Associated Builders and Contractors is comprised of 73 chapters representing more than 23,000 merit shop construction and construction-related firms with nearly two million employees. Learn more about ABC Eastern Pennsylvania Chapter at abceastpa.org

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