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Measuring Your Metros

July 31, 2019
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Market Planning - 2018

National Factbook 2013

Dec. 27, 2013
Electrical Wholesaling's annual roundup of the key economic indicators that show the direction of the electrical industry's major markets.

If the housing market continues growing at anywhere near its current pace and the commercial segment performs as expected, 2014 may turn out to be a very good year.

If you liken the following pages of economic statistics to the indicator lights on your car, you might say they show the economy is showing some signs it might run well enough in 2014 to support a few miles of decent growth for the electrical market next year. Growth should be steady and the market will steer clear of the extremes — the industry won’t overheat from growing too fast, and it won’t experience a completely smooth ride along the way in 2014.

The economic indicators in Electrical Wholesaling’s 2014 National Factbook look much better than they have over the past five years. Supported by solid demand for new homes and low interest rates, the housing market should enjoy another good year. If past market cycles run true, it will help support new light commercial construction such as strip shopping centers, gas stations, small projects on Main St. America, small retail stores and restaurants.

New commercial construction is a little tougher to gauge because some markets will be much stronger than others. Some urban areas like New York, Boston and Washington, D.C., will continue to go gangbusters in 2014, while other cities will wonder what all the excitement’s about.

Some indicators for the industrial market don’t pop off the page nearly as much as those that monitor the residential market. For instance, electrical manufacturers’ product shipments seem to be stuck at a growth rate in the low single digits, and the utilization of capacity in industrial facilities isn’t quite at the 80% level that usually indicates that companies need to start expanding their facilities. But they are for the most part heading in the right direction for the short-term, and may really ramp up long term if all the talk proves true about less expensive natural gas and oil from new domestic sources attracting new factories and providing existing facilities with cheaper sources of fuel.

To use our automobile analogy, EW’s editors hope the economic data in the following pages offers you a few indicator lights you can use to monitor the health of your market in 2014.  Keep one eye on them and the other one on the road ahead. Safe travels.

About the Author

Jim Lucy | Editor-in-Chief of Electrical Wholesaling and Electrical Marketing

Jim Lucy has been wandering through the electrical market for more than 40 years, most of the time as an editor for Electrical Wholesaling and Electrical Marketing newsletter, and as a contributing writer for EC&M magazine During that time he and the editorial team for the publications have won numerous national awards for their coverage of the electrical business. He showed an early interest in electricity, when as a youth he had an idea for a hot dog cooker. Unfortunately, the first crude prototype malfunctioned and the arc nearly blew him out of his parents' basement.

Before becoming an editor for Electrical Wholesaling  and Electrical Marketing, he earned a BA degree in journalism and a MA in communications from Glassboro State College, Glassboro, NJ., which is formerly best known as the site of the 1967 summit meeting between President Lyndon Johnson and Russian Premier Aleksei Nikolayevich Kosygin, and now best known as the New Jersey state college that changed its name in 1992 to Rowan University because of a generous $100 million donation by N.J. zillionaire industrialist Henry Rowan. Jim is a Brooklyn-born Jersey Guy happily transplanted with his wife and three sons in the fertile plains of Kansas for the past 30 years.