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Market Expectations

As the end of the year draws near, many people take the time to reflect upon the last 12 months and form New Year's resolutions for the coming year. Similarly, this time of year brings about reports and predictions as to what next year will bring about in the construction and design industry.

I had the opportunity to speak with Tim Duggan, director of custom solutions for Norcross, Ga.-based CMD, at Greenbuild in October. He noted that they're seeing growth in most market segments across the board. For metal in particular, the largest amount of activity is occurring in the education segment, and Duggan expects to see significant growth next year. He added that new construction is growing faster than renovations in the education market.

The commercial building segment is the next biggest for metal roof and wall panels, according to Duggan, who said forecasts show strong growth for this year, with the same or better expected for next year. Additionally, while growth is still expected in the retail and government sectors, it is not expected to be as dramatic as that in the education and commercial sectors, Duggan said.

In early November, Dodge Data & Analytics released its 2015 Dodge Construction Outlook, which predicts the total U.S. construction starts for 2015 to rise 9 percent to $612 billion. This is a larger gain than the 5 percent increase to $564 billion that was estimated for this year. A quick overview of the report expects commercial building, institutional building, single-family housing, multifamily housing and public works construction will all improve next year, while electric utilities and manufacturing plant construction will decrease.

A forecast for the Steel Framing Industry Association indicates that after seven years of slow and uneven growth in demand and pricing, cold-formed steel and related products will see its strongest year yet in 2015. Prepared by Thompson Research Group, Nashville, Tenn., CEO Kathryn Thompson reports that although the overall picture is improving, there are markets and segments that will stand out as clear winners, while structural changes will require companies to adjust.

I'm sure as we continue to get closer to the new year, more associations and groups will keep coming out with their own predictions for next year, and next month we will have our own round-up of predictions in our annual State of the Industry report.

Until then, have a very happy holiday season and see you next year.

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