Fewer building starts, higher unemployment and rising vacancy rates are three trends economists predict for the construction industry in 2009. In a Webcast this week, Ken Simonson, a trade association economist, said nonresidential construction spending will fall as much as 9% this year. Fellow Webcast participant and construction industry economist, Jim Haughey, believes the nation's economy will hit bottom this summer or fall, and will not recover until the end of 2010.

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