Glazing Executives Forum: slow and steady economic growth, glass industry encouraged to invest

During the the 7th annual Glazing Executives Forum, held 13 September during GlassBuild America in Las Vegas, attendees from the glazing industry were urged and advised to make investments in time, money and personnel.

Economist Jeff Dietrich, senior analyst for the Institute for Trend Research, was the keynote speaker for the 7th annual Glazing Executives Forum, held 13 September during GlassBuild America in Las Vegas. Dietrich advised the more than 200 glazing industry representatives attending the meeting to “make your move.”
The number of attendees present at the 2012 meeting, sponsored by the National Glass Association, provided an overview of the direction the US economy is heading over the next six to 12 months, showing that there are no signs that the US economy is fading or collapsing, and growth is above year-ago levels, with more gains expected, Dietrich said.
Both non-residential and residential construction segments are experiencing year-over-year growth. However, that growth has been, and will continue to be, slow.
“Construction trends are alive. Housing starts are up over 21.4% from one year ago. Housing affordability is at an all-time low. … Home prices have hit bottom and are heading higher,” Dietrich said. “Non-residential construction is 14% above one year ago and showing surprising strength. Although the gains are well below the historic peaks of 2008, the recovery touches a broad swath from commercial to health care, manufacturing to malls, sports arenas to education institutions.”
Dietrich also encouraged companies to make investments, particularly while interest rates remain low. “Invest time, money, personnel. Move forward and innovate,” he said. “Embrace uncertainty. Get over the fear and the past. This is not about looking forward through the rearview mirror.”
Companies that don’t make their move will fall behind. “If you wait until the election, or until some other change happens in the market, you’re going to be two years behind your sharpest competitors,” Dietrich said.