If our readers are correct, construction may now be coming out of the latest economic cycle. Our survey of equipment-owning Giants reflects optimism among 40 percent of respondents that work volume this year will be greater than it was in 2002.
This jibes with research we did about nine months prior when we asked the same question for our Annual Report and Forecast. Then, 40 percent of contractors forecast work-volume increases in 2003. Our Giants include noncontractors, so those numbers suggest a degree of reliability that is encouraging as we finish out the year.
Our level of enthusiasm is bolstered a bit by recent economic news that flat spending in most construction categories may be trending up late in the year or early next. Our economist says a summer upturn in nonresidential spending and late-year increases in heavy spending will lead us to sustained, though slow, expansion in overall construction spending. (ConstructionEquipment.com offers a free economics newsletter, delivered monthly to your e-mail address. Visit our site to sign up.)
Successful equipment users have managed through this economic cycle by evaluating rental and used-equipment options and by using maintenance and repair strategies that have eked more productivity out of equipment. It may soon be time to look at how new equipment technologies can improve productivity in response to business growth.
As the economy goes through its cycles, perseverance and wisdom guide those who exit the downturns prepared for the good times. In life, the same can be said.
Senior editor Lynn Landberg retires this issue after 29 years as a member of the Construction Equipment editorial staff. Our readers have seen Lynn's byline over the years and recognized the knowledge and insight that he brought to his analysis of equipment. His signature piece, "Buying File," won several awards as Lynn evaluated and summarized equipment trends.
We're going to miss Lynn. He served this magazine faithfully, but was never enslaved by it. His legacy to us extends well beyond his journalistic contribution to this industry. His legacy to us is his dedication to his family, his hobbies and his community at large. Lynn's come out of this cycle of his life on top. Best wishes, Lynn.
|Rod Sutton, Editor in Chief, ASBPE Regional Award Winner, 630/288-8130, firstname.lastname@example.org|