While the volatility on the financial markets continue I am still constantly monitoring the different indexes that track construction related activities and also talking with folks every day about the “real time” feel for the market place. From the index side, the latest Architectural Billings Index (ABI) continued to show positivity. With a 52.0 the index was on the plus side led by very strong efforts from the West and Midwest territories. The Dodge Momentum Index (DMI) also showed plus numbers for last month but just barely; registering only a ½ percent gain on the previous report. Still while the numbers overall are in the right place some analysts are starting to fret that growth on the commercial side is showing some weaknesses. That is something to watch. Keep in mind spending forecasts for commercial have been showing gains through 2020, so there is still quite a bit of optimism. As for the “real time” feel- that has been on the pessimistic side for the most part. The market had some soft spots in February that I believe most figured would go away in March but has not. For current work the horrendous weather in the Northeast has to be playing into that for that region. Backlogs for 4Q and 1Q2019 are not where many want them to be either, so that is adding to the angst as well. I think since we all lived through those insane days of the previous recession our fear mechanism is set to trigger faster than normal. Obviously we’ll continue to watch and communicate….
-- I have written many times on Amazon. I am truly intrigued by that organization. Bloomberg recently took a pretty detailed look at Amazon and it’s absolutely worth the read.
--Speaking of Amazon, in the latest Glass Magazine (full review coming next week) there’s a profile on one of their new buildings in Seattle that was fabricated by Vitrum Glass Group. The building is a show stopper. Kudos to the team at Vitrum for a job well done as well as the folks at Walker Glass, Kuraray, Glass Coatings and Concepts, Vitro, and Walters and Wolf who all took part in this incredible project. Awesome work by all! Also kudos to Viracon on the tower facade glass on the towers there. Nice job.
-- I find myself constantly interested in the “Internet of Things” also known as IoT. Katy Devlin and Glass Magazine have had some excellent stories on it and Ron Crowl and his team at Fenetech have been leaders in working to educate the industry and seeing where this movement can go. There is no doubt that more automation and IoT will be in the modern glass fab plants. Just probably going to take a while. As for the mainstream side of IoT there was an excellent piece on Full Measure News this past weekend that is worth the watch as well.
-- By the way I am a fan of Full Measure News- it comes out every Sunday with 3 or 4 stories and its really well done. In a world of some “interesting” news sites this one has been pretty solid in my opinion.
-- Last this week… I have written on modular building and how it’s growing. Now we have the news of an actual factory in Chicago to do modular only. Interesting read and also the comment at the end asking how the building permitting process will work is one that has me curious.
LINKS of the WEEK
My heart goes out to this youngster that’s learning to drive… ouch. Maybe its me but it sure seemed like my generation took to driving a lot quicker/easier than the current one.
This is so wrong it hurts. Sentencing guidelines like this make no sense… 4 people dead and the kid 2 years total? This also after blowing off probation and fleeing the country too!
I still don’t get the driverless car angle- it has to be all or nothing to work in my opinion. But the state of Arizona is on board- so we’ll see….
VIDEO of the WEEK
Lots of very good ad related videos at BEC, some of which I am looking to share here. This one from Guardian Glass was excellent.