Looking goodPublished 18/12, 2017 at 15:53
While writing this editorial the year has nearly passed and a new one close to starting. On average 2017 turned out a good year for the global demolition and concrete cutting industries. Most continents have seen an upturn in the economy. Member countries within the European Union have all shown positive figures and some increases over 5%.
The US construction industry is slowly coming back to becoming a driving motor for the country’s economy and a major import factor for many manufacturers around the world. Proof of this is the forthcoming edition of the World of Concrete, which will be the biggest show in nine years. Parts of the Middle East, in particular the Gulf region, is booming again, while some countries like Syria, Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan still have a long way to go.
Moving further east, India is growing like China did a decade ago. Also in South East Asia the construction business is picking up strongly with an increased use of modern techniques for demolition, concrete sawing and drilling, concrete floor grinding and polishing and recycling of construction waste. The Chinese construction market has been slowing down for some years, but now appears to be picking up a little. South Korea and Japan are also growing and in particular the Japanese construction industry with great demand for renewal of the country’s infrastructure. Japan though is facing the problem of an aging population and lacking labour. For the first time in many years Japan is hiring labour from neighbouring countries.
Australia has experienced a slight decrease in construction activity, but has come down from a very high level so business is still good in certain areas of the country. Also on the African continent we have seen a growing us of modern demolition and concrete cutting techniques all over the continent, but in particular South Africa. PDi has reported from the region several times during 2017 and in this we feature the South African demolition company Wreckers Group that are strong on implosion.
The only continent that still is struggling is South America and very much due to its biggest economy Brazil still having a hard time to get back on track. Brazil is suffering from a political and financial crisis and no one really knows when things will improve. Many people have lost belief in the politicians after many corruption scandals. But besides the situation in Brazil, Chile and Columbia’s construction industries have shown a strong increase during the last five years. Also Argentina is showing signs of recovery.
As I am Swedish and based in Stockholm, I need to explain a little about the situation here in my country. The country had a very serious drop in the economy in the beginning of the 1990s and then again around 2008. Due to a lousy economy for some years the country and its politicians managed to start to put things right. Sweden now has a much better plan for economic growth and our economy has been tremendously good for a number of years now. A lot of new homes have been built during the past year, but the demand is still high for rental apartments. However, the markets have seen a strong price increase, which in combination with demands on amortization on mortgages, has put a dampening effect on sale of new homes. Currently price increases have stopped, but despite this it is expected that the construction market will continue to boom for at least another year.
So over all things could be much worse globally for the industries PDi reports on. Ahead of us now is 2018 and the agenda shows a number of interesting events like World of Concrete in January, the French show Intermat in Paris in April and a number of other more local events around the globe.
I would like to take this opportunity and thank all our readers, advertisers and partners for your great co-operation during 2017 and hoping for similar success in 2018. To all contractors and manufacturers, please take the opportunity to send us job reports and releases about new products for publication in PDi during 2018. I also would like to wish you happy holidays and a good start to the New Year.