It has been a long time coming, but the construction recovery seems to be almost here. The housing market has been keeping up construction growth, which is rebounding from record lows, but now many of the non-residential building markets are starting to turn the corner, making for many optimistic forecasts for 2014. The remaining drag on construction growth for next year is the public sector, which continues to be squeezed by the battle over the federal deficit.
Some economists, however, see a silver lining even there. "The recession pushed millions of workers out of the industry, and it is not going to be easy to get them back, so a slow but steady recovery might be the best thing for helping to control inflation," says Randy Giggard, chief economist for FMI, Raleigh, N.C. "You could make a similar argument for some of the materials markets."