Everywhere you look these days, the news regarding the residential construction market is bleak. Construction starts are down, foreclosures are up, banks are rescinding loans, the economy is in the tank, stimulus packages are failing-you've heard it all before. Editors here at RESIDENTIAL CONCRETE have even heard of architecture firms asking top executive to take three- to six-month sabbaticals until business returns.

Optimistic, we can report some good news concerning residential construction. President-elect Obama's economic recovery plan invests heavily in public works projects, which ultimately will trickle down to impact residential construction. Residential construction contractors are reporting positive growth in various locations throughout North America as new construction home sales have started to pick up as prices reflect practicality. Finally, construction equipment manufacturers are expecting growth in 2009 although not at levels attained in the previous few years.

There is no question 2009 is going to be a tough year, but the cycle trending downward is nearing completion.