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AGG1 is Number One

I just returned from this year’s AGG1 Academy and Expo and to say the show was a smashing success is an understatement.

The show broke records for attendance, exhibit and education numbers, according to show organizers the Association of Equipment Manufacturers and the National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association. The event was held at the Music City Center in Nashville, Tenn., March 22-24, in conjunction with the World of Asphalt.

Registered attendance of more than 9,000 beat the record set last year in Baltimore by 18 percent. Attendees came from all 50 states, nine of the 10 Canadian provinces and more than 60 countries worldwide; 30 percent were company presidents/owners, vice presidents, general managers or chief financial officers, and all together 87 percent were in managerial roles.

I personally spoke with many exhibitors at the show, and almost all expressed enthusiasm for the both the quantity and quality of attendees that visited their booth.

It’s no surprise that many people are looking forward to a positive near-term future in the industry. Much has been written about the economic vitality certain to be generated by the FAST Act, and that is a fact.

Aggregates production statistics were just released, and the estimated annual output of construction aggregates produced for consumption in 2015 was 2.28 billion metric tons (Gt), an increase of 6 percent compared with that of 2014. An estimated 579 million metric tons (Mt) of total construction aggregates was produced and shipped for consumption in the United States in the fourth quarter of 2015, an increase of 8 percent compared with that of the same period of 2014.

Total construction starts on a 12-month rolling basis were up 2 percent as the result of this performance by major sector: residential building, up 15 percent; nonbuilding construction, up 2 percent; and nonresidential building, down 12 percent.

It is very encouraging to me that we are seeing market confidence and optimism for the future in the midst of one of the most contentious presidential races in memory. An election year is typically like kryptonite to Superman when it comes to economic growth.

In between the time the MINExpo show commences this fall and ConExpo-Con/Agg kicks off next spring, there is a good chance we will have to hold on for dear life, and that sounds like a great roller coaster ride to me.