Mother Nature flexed her muscles for the first time in 2016 with the massive snowstorm crushing a healthy portion of the eastern US. Storms like these can sometimes have an effect on the economic performance of the industry depending on how long the event lasts and the cities it hits. We’ll see next month when the Architectural Billings Index (ABI) and Dodge Momentum Index come out. Both metrics came in positive for the month of December which was obviously good news. On the ABI, two main takeaways… first the overall 2015 was pretty much equal with 2014’s performance which should lock in a solid 2016 actual performance for the industry. Second, the new projects inquiry number was very high, giving some confidence to the rosy predictions for 2017. But…. That was all done before we had the correction to the stock market… so aside from seeing if there’s any storm related declines, watching to see if positivity on the new project inquiry side will be key.
-- Another fear is the cratering cost of oil. If you read this blog (thank you) you know I usually mention gas prices- especially when they seem abnormally high or whenever prices get raised for the flimsiest reasons. (Like someone at a refinery having the flu… raise the prices!) However we’re now on the opposite side of the spectrum with prices too low. Yes it’s amazing to fill up so cheaply, but it’s actually economically unhealthy by a lot. So there’s got to be a happy medium and for whatever reason we rarely can get to it. By the way I saw a graphic that really threw me.. a bucket of chicken from KFC right now costs more than a barrel of oil. Never thought that comparison would ever happen!
-- Interesting move by PPG corporate as they are getting rid of voicemail systems. From an article in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review:
Instead of being prompted to leave a message when no one at PPG picks up, a recording informs callers that the person they are trying to reach is unavailable and that they should call back later or “try an alternative method to correspond.”
Wow. I'm at that point where I remember when voicemails were first introduced... now they are obsolete. Anyway this new move is on the landline corporate office only as far as I know… and I have to assume those with cell phones will always have voicemail working.
-- From time to time when someone launches a new website or I come across one I have not previously seen, I mention it here. This time around props to the folks at MyGlassTruck for their excellent upgraded site. I never thought you could make a glass rack truck look like a super model, but they did. Beautiful visual and informative site. Congrats to Rustin Cassaway, Michael Frett and the team there for a job well done.
-- Very interesting story here on mold at the Winnipeg IGA Stadium. You read this and you seriously have to wonder if the designers had any idea where this stadium was going OR if they even knew what they were doing. Then again you also wonder did the proper materials get value engineered out? In any case just a baffling situation that won’t be easy to fix.
-- Just a heads up- we are one month away from GANA BEC. Should be a good conference with some interesting speakers. For me I look forward to hearing the “Innovation in the Industry” piece from Kai-Uwe Bergmann from BIG Architectural. Love that insight. Plus baseball legend Johnny Bench is speaking too and being an old school sports guy, that should be neat.
-- Last this week… if you are an NBA fan and you have not had the opportunity to see Steph Curry of the Golden State Warriors in person yet, do yourself a favor and try and catch him. Truly an amazing player with the sweetest, and smoothest shot I have ever seen.
LINKS of the WEEK
-- Just an amazing story of a 71 year old woman who’s lived most of her life in the wilderness.
-- Nice work here by a Target cashier. Very rare stuff these days.
I really can’t stand this “affluenza” kid. His latest story or excuse makes no sense.
VIDEO of the WEEK
From Saturday Night Live last week. A great take off of the goofy TV show “Undercover Boss” using Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) of the new Star Wars. Classic stuff.