The global economy outlook for 2023 continues to be disheartening due to multiple international wars, geopolitical tensions, oil price fluctuations, and continued raising interest rates and inflation.
US Economy seems to be robust and holding up. The third quarter GDP is almost 5%. The bonds have the highest interest rates since 2007.
The Federal Reserve may be close to leveling off interest rates. Despite this, inflation continues to be very stubborn and much higher than the Federal Reserve target of 2%. It seems like the “low interest rate” days are over, and we must get used to the “normal” interest rates in the range of about 5-8%. And this is affecting the real estate market throughout the county, as the 30-year fixed mortgage rate is close to 8%, the highest in many years. As High mortgage interest rates are a clear indication of a slowdown of single home sales, this often leads to a boost to construction of multi-family homes, apartments, and condominiums.
The manufacturing sector is growing due to post-covid re-shoring efforts. The industry is gaining momentum and jobs every month, little by little, as many of the manufacturers are coming back to the US from China. However, the demand for skilled labor continues to be very high, as domestic skilled labor supply continues to be very short. And every industry, not just Epcon’s, is competing for skilled labor – from welders, electricians, truck drivers, diesel mechanics, plumbers and carpenters. Hopefully this high demand will entice America’s Youth to seek careers in skilled trades!
During 2023, Epcon has been very fortunate to have some major Oven and Thermal Oxidizer projects. Our 250,000 sqft manufacturing floor is overflowing with 16-17 large, active projects under construction. And the outlook for Epcon’s business next year looks good with a solid pipeline of new projects. Of course, success in times of uncertainty requires hard work and perseverance. A challenge our team is ready to tackle!