Industry groups' economists modestly optimistic for rest of 2014
- There is a consensus among the chief economists of the National Association of Home Builders, Associated Builders and Contractors and the American Institute of Architects, that the outlook is mostly good for the rest of this year, though two of them share one area of concern.
- ABC economist Anirban Basu and AIA economist Kermit Baker both said at a joint presentation this week that the public sector – schools and infrastructure –is not seeing the kind of growth that nonresidential construction has.
- David Crowe, the NAHB's top economy-seer, said that group expects modest growth in home building as the economy adds jobs, but said shortages of building lots and some trades will keep it from growing beyond that.
A factor working in favor of commercial and industrial construction is that material prices have remained relatively stable overall in recent quarters. For housing, job growth can have only so much of an effect on home purchases because wages are not rising quickly as home prices.