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Interview with Chief Economist Alex Carrick: State of the U.S. Economy

This past month I had the pleasure of interviewing Alex Carrick, the chief economist covering North America for ConstructConnect, as well as CanaData. He has been providing the construction industry with economic and forecast data for over 30 years.

We had a great time during the interview and covered a lot of ground… including the U.S. economy, the performance of construction by sector and by region, key trends in the market place, and Canada's economy and construction industry.

Over the next four weeks, we will be publishing different parts of the interview covering the four mains topics discussed:

  1. U.S. Economy
  2. U.S. Construction
  3. High-Tech Influences
  4. Canadian Economy and Construction

Aging Expansion of the U.S. Economy

During the interview, one of my big concerns is trying to figure out when the next recession might hit us, especially since we have experienced 90+ months of expansion (see chart).

2017 NAHB IBS Housing and Economic Outlook 90 month expansion
(Source: 2017 NAHB IBS, Housing and Economic Outlook, Robert Dietz)

Alex is very optimistic about the U.S. economy, he believes the jobless claims number, which has been over 300K for almost two years, shows the strength of the economy. Another positive aspect is the growth in the stock market, up 200 to 300% from the trough.

But there was one thing that Alex made me realize that I hadn’t noticed. He talked about how everyone, and I include myself in this group, keeps looking backwards at the past recession. We were hit so hard by the last recession that now we are stuck looking back at it and anticipating the next one, rather than living in the present and taking advantage of the positive growth we are experiencing. He put it best when comparing it to the scene in Jurassic Park, where T-rex is chasing the car down the road and they keep looking in the rear-view mirror!

Watch the First Interview with Alex

Watch the video interview to hear directly from Alex about his optimism towards the outlook of the U.S. economy, his thoughts on the new administration in Washington, fiscal and monetary policy, our dependence on foreign oil, interest rates and commodities. You don't want to miss it – and stay tuned for more from Alex in the coming weeks.

Watch the Interview

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