NIBCO Economic Forecast

2015 has been a relatively good year for the US economy. The unemployment rate has fallen to 5.0%, which by most measures is near full employment. Consumers have seen unusually strong relief from inflation, as falling has prices and generally flat food costs have kept more money in the homeowner's pocket.

For the professional contractor, the combination of stronger job market and low inflation means that customers are more likely to be open to investing in new landscape projects and services. It takes time for attitudes to change about the economy. Consumer sentiment, a key leading indicator for the services profession, has been higher than year-age levels throughout 2015. A growing economy and full employment also means it will be more challenging to find qualified labor. Be aggressive with recruiting and training to compensate for the tight job market.

Northeast Regional Outlook

In the Northeast, Consumer spending improved in the fourth quarter, ending the year 2.5% higher than the fourth quarter of 2014. We expect ongoing growth at around 2.2% in the first half of the year.

Consumer Spending



Conditions in the Northeast may be softer than other areas of the US right now, but are still positive at 2.5%

New Housing Permits

 

The Region is up slightly (0.6%) compared to last year, but conditions vary widely from state to state. Look for existing-home renovations/improvements to supplement growth in 2016.

To get a PDF version of this report, click HERE.

Written by: Andrew Duguay - Senior Economist - check out www.prevedere.com to learn more.