Five years ago, the United States and the A/E/C industry were in the early stages of a recovery from the worst economic crisis in 80 years. The infant promise of that recovery grew into this country’s longest-lasting economic expansion, albeit a tepid one.
The introduction to the 2013 A/E/C Firm U.S. Market Forecast led off with the headline: “A Time Like We’ve Never Seen.” That referred to the Great Recession and its aftermath, the uniqueness of which was a central theme in that report. As we write this, it is November 2017, and the headline for the introduction of the 2018 A/E/C Firm U.S. Market Forecast is as appropriate now as it was then.
The country is in its third-longest economic expansion in history, closing in on second. Just when it seemed that the state of political discourse couldn’t get any worse, along comes then-candidate and now-President Donald J. Trump and his many friends and foils.
Since the nation climbed out of the economic morass of the late 2000s, the A/E/C industry has enjoyed some of the best times we’ve had. While it is rarely “easy” to make money, work has been plentiful across all market sectors, geographic areas, and disciplines.
But what awaits us going forward? The answers seem as elusive now as they were when the effects of the Recession were still resonating in the halls of our homes and firms. Can the U.S. economy continue the tepid, uneven growth that has characterized the current economic cycle? If so, for how long?
Can we continue to avoid the many potential pitfalls that could drag us down without a moment’s notice? Another recession, stock market correction, or international incident? What will President Trump accomplish and how will it affect the economy and the industry?
Many questions. Few answers. We can only try to learn and understand as much as possible about where the markets are and where they appear to be going. That’s why the 2018 A/E/C Firm U.S. Market Forecast exists.
We offer no guarantees, only information and insight based on years of industry experience. Just remember, you know your business better than anyone does. So, while the information in this report can help inform your decisions, sometimes it’s best to go with your gut. Good luck in 2018 and beyond.
About the Author: Jerry Guerra is a writer, editor and 24-year consultant to the A/E/C industry. He has authored more than a dozen A/E/C Industry books, including the inaugural annual national market research publications for two of the largest publishing and consulting firms serving the A/E/C industry. Jerry has addressed the national conventions of the AIA, ACEC, AEBL and World Trade Center Montreal. In 2002, Jerry founded The JAGG Group, a management consulting firm based in Lynnfield, Massachusetts. The JAGG Group focuses on providing marketing, market research, thought leadership and public relations services to firms in the architecture, engineering, environmental, and construction industries. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Check out his A/E/C Insight blog at http://www.aecinsight.com.
This article is an excerpt from PSMJ's just released 2018 A/E/C Firm U.S. Market Forecast. Uncertainty looms again for the U.S. economy and the A/E/C industry as 2018 approaches. This is why it’s important to have as much information and insight as you can at your fingertips—the kind you’ll find in this important report, now available for purchase.