Tag Archive for 'infrastructure'
Real gross domestic product (GDP) expanded by just 0.7 percent (seasonally adjusted annual rate) during the fourth quarter of 2015, according to an analysis of Bureau of Economic Analysis data released today by Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC). This paltry growth follows a 2 percent increase during the year’s third quarter and a 3.9 percent increase during the second quarter. For the year, GDP expanded by 2.4 percent, matching the rate of growth seen in 2014.
Nonresidential fixed investment shrank by 1.8 percent in the fourth quarter, the first time the segment has contracted since the third quarter of 2012. For the year, nonresidential fixed investment expanded by 2.9 percent after growing by 6.2 percent in 2014 and 3 percent in 2013.
“The economy did not end the year well,” said ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basu. “Today’s GDP data adds weight to the argument that the U.S. is in a corporate profits recession, an industrial recession, and was experiencing a softening of investments. With the exception of the residential building sector, business capital outlays have declined as corporations deal with a combination of sagging exports, competitive imports, declining energy related investments, rising wage pressures and healthcare costs.
“Recent turbulence in financial markets suggest that capital availability may continue to soften,” said Basu. “While residential construction is likely to continue to recover given the combination of low interest rates and accelerating household formation, nonresidential construction spending growth may begin to sputter a bit as those who deploy capital become more defensive. This is not to suggest that nonresidential construction spending is set to decline. Many contractors continue to report significant and growing backlog. However, the current situation suggests that the growth in backlog and ultimately in spending may not be quite as rapid as it was earlier in 2015.”
Six key input prices rose or remained unchanged in October on a monthly basis, while one remained unchanged:
- Personal consumption expenditures expanded 2.2 percent in the fourth quarter after growing by 3 percent in the third quarter.
- Spending on goods grew 2.4 percent in the fourth quarter after expanding 5 percent in the third quarter and 5.5 percent in the second quarter.
- Real final sales of domestically produced output increased 1.2 percent for the fourth quarter after a 2.7 percent increase in the third quarter.
- Federal government spending increased 2.7 percent in the fourth quarter, the segment’s largest increase since the third quarter of 2014.
- Nondefense spending increased 1.4 percent in the fourth quarter after expanding 2.8 percent in the previous quarter.
- National defense spending expanded by 3.6 percent in the fourth quarter after contracting by 1.4 percent during the third.
State and local government spending contracted by 0.6 percent in the fourth quarter after increasing by 2.8 percent in the third quarter.
Many of the materials and tools used to build America’s infrastructure are still utilized today, while new tools are being developed to improve America’s infrastructure for the future. In more recent years, the country’s innovations have been reflected not only on the land but also in the sky—in the airplanes and rockets that have enabled our country to connect to the rest of the world with greater swiftness and ease. While these latter accomplishments are in part attributable to advances in science, including in the use of titanium, the earlier ones described in this infographic were dependent on a few archetypal figures: industrial titans, inventors, and skilled tradesmen. Learn more about “The Tradesmen That Built America” from the following infographic compiled by Tulsa Welding School.
“Infrastructure Vision 2050” Challenge Competition to Award $150,000 to Innovative Infrastructure Solutions
The Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) today announced the Infrastructure Vision 2050 Challenge— a three-phased, crowd-sourced competition to award a total of $150,000 in prizes for innovative ideas to overhaul the crumbling infrastructure that Americans rely upon to move people, materials, products, services and information.
Open to everyone everywhere, the Infrastructure Vision 2050 Challenge leverages the HeroX crowdsourcing model designed to bring about radical business, technological and social innovation benefiting local and global communities, inspiring new industries and catalyzing markets.
“The United States is the strongest and largest economy in the world and yet the overall quality of our infrastructure is falling dramatically behind our global competitors,” said Dennis Slater, AEM president. “AEM’s members thought it was time to break the cycle of patchwork fixes and deferred maintenance and lead the conversation in a different direction.”
“We need to engage innovators who we haven’t heard from before and who have the ability to imagine how people, freight, energy and information will move in the country of tomorrow – even as far out as the year 2050,” Slater added. “With the HeroX crowdsourcing model, we’re confident we can bring these solutions to life.”
“HeroX was founded on our conviction that the crowd – everyday people with great ideas – can and will solve the world’s most pressing problems,” said HeroX CEO, Christian Cotichini. “The Infrastructure Vision 2050 Challenge moves the U.S. infrastructure conversation beyond traditional political channels for the first time and gives everyone affected by these issues a chance to voice their opinions and find solutions.”
The American Society of Civil Engineers’ 2013 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure gave the U.S. a combined grade of D+ for the condition of its infrastructure. The report cites the nation’s 70,000 (one-in-nine) structurally-deficient bridges, the fact that 42% of America’s major urban highways remain congested, costing the economy an estimated $101 billion in wasted time and fuel annually, and an estimated 240,000 annual water main breaks as examples for why rebuilding the country’s infrastructure is such a critical issue. The report further estimates that it would take a $3.6 trillion investment by 2020 to bring U.S. infrastructure up to exceptional standards.
Competition Phases, Judging and Prizes Finalists and winners of the three-phased Infrastructure Vision 2050 Challenge will be determined by a judging panel and crowd voting. The first two phases launch today. The third phase is scheduled to launch in mid-summer, 2016.
First phase: The “Complain Phase” will engage the public to describe the biggest infrastructure challenge facing their community. Total Prize: $5,000 (10 finalists receive $250; overall winner receives $2,500) Deadline to enter: March 15, 2016
Second phase: The “Dream Phase” will seek to solicit new thinking and solutions, especially from non-experts. Total Prize: $45,000 (5 winners receive $9,000 each) Deadline to enter: May 31, 2016 Third phase: The “Build Phase” takes the second phase a step further and solicits plans to implement those solutions on a larger scale. Total Prize: $100,000 (Winner receives $100,00) Deadline to enter: TBD
Judging criteria and other information can be found at the Infrastructure Vision 2050 Challenge website.
About AEM http://www.aem.org AEM is a trade association that provides services on a global basis for companies that manufacture equipment, products and services used worldwide in the following industries: Agriculture, Construction, Forestry, Mining and Utility. AEM’s membership is made up of more than 850 companies and represents 200+ product lines. Twitter: @aemadvisor Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AssociationofEquipmentManufacturers
About HeroX http://www.herox.com Founded in 2013, HeroX exists at the intersection of crowdsourcing, competition and collaboration, using each to drive positive change. A suite of tools and services to help spark and build awareness for new solutions to social and economic challenges, the HeroX incentive prize platform connects funding companies and individuals with problem solvers. Twitter: @Iamherox Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/IamHeroX