While out for a walk yesterday morning, I noticed construction at the strip shopping center near my home. Wood frame in just about done.
New construction? In this economy? That isn’t supposed to be happening, right?
I looked around the strip center. I counted 11 out of 26 small shops that are empty. The two large spaces and one medium-sized space are filled. That is a rather high percentage of vacant space. Yet this piece of new construction is large enough for three small shops.
Someone is optimistic enough about the economy to put their money on the line. Hmm.
A while back, a few miles from my home I saw dirt being moved for construction of some sort. Drove by there a week ago and saw many acres of brand-new apartment units. Hmm.
Someone else is optimistic enough about the near-term outlook to put their money on the line today.
Maybe we are not heading into a double dip?
So remembering that the world is far bigger than what I can see, I got to thinking about some graphs that Mark Perry has been pointing out at Carpe Diem blog:
- Leading indicators are trending up quite nicely
- Weekly rail traffic is trending up
- Architecture billings at highest level in four years
- Outbound containers from Port of Los Angeles trending up since start of 2009
- Midwest manufacturing index from the Fed at highest level in three years (although last 4 months of increase is at slower rate of increase than previous 2.5 years)
Not a hint on any of those graphs that the economy is slowing.
Don’t know what to make of this all. At the moment I’m just scratching my head.
Update 9-7-12. A year after writing this post, the apartment buildings are done and occupied.
The new construction in the strip center near home? Still under construction. It will be a dental office.
The exterior is finished. The occasional construction crews that show up have finished the outside and are doing the interior walls, electrical and other stuff. At the rate the owner has crews on site, it will take months to finish.