Frank Manfredi of Manfredi & Associates gave his predictions for the construction industry while speaking at the March 15 meeting of the Illinois Equipment Distributors at the Marriot Oak Brook Hotel in Chicago at 4:30 p.m.
Introduced by Rolf Helland, president of the IED, Manfredi presented a report about construction equipment, farm equipment, equipment rental channels and China’s role in the industry.
Manfredi expects commodity prices, including coal, copper, iron and steel, to stay high for some time and appear to go higher.
Long term growth is expected for 2006, according to Manfredi’s forecast. He sees nonresidential construction improving 12 percent and highway construction increasing with the new bill signed last July, as well as price increases and growing interest rates.
Construction equipment will increase this year by 5 percent from 2005 while farm equipment will dip by 2 percent, according to Manfredi. Meanwhile, Brazil is expected to surpass the United States in soybean production.
He said that China has become a net exporter of steel and other commodities and their gross domestic product is forecast to grow five percent.
The IED’s next meeting is scheduled for April 19 and will feature a presentation on the IRS and tax changes by Gary Bartecki, director of distributor services for BDO Seidman, an international consulting and accounting firm. CEG