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Healthy aggregate activity to carry on in coming months

By |  April 9, 2019
Source: S-C Market Analytics

Source: S-C Market Analytics

As this economic expansion becomes one of the longest in the past 70 years, it becomes harder to find areas of pent-up demand that can provide a boost – even with policy changes. Fortunately, the most important growth drivers, including tax cuts and regulation rollbacks, have already been implemented.

Because of this, the United States should experience another couple years of solid growth. The China trade situation could also drive growth upward by a small amount.

The one area that may have pent-up demand is housing. High prices have been holding back many buyers, as monthly payments have to compete with student loan debt and a desire to be in the expensive urban centers. But as a large cohort of younger people enter their 30s, home demand will increase. We expect this to show up post-2019.

For construction materials, these trends mean more good years of growth. While the private segments of construction, residential and nonresidential will be flat for another year or two, nonbuilding will pick up the slack. The result is higher materials growth in the plus-2 percent to plus-4 percent range through 2022. Regionally, all areas will do all right with the Sunbelt leading the way. High tax, colder areas will lag behind, except for areas with large energy production.

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