I recently received the FMI Construction Outlook for the Fourth Quarter of 2007, and I must say I wasn't surprised at their conclusions.

FMI, which is made up of management consultants and investment bankers specific to the construction industry, reported that the outlook for construction in 2008 has been revised downward since the third quarter in 2007. However, certain segments, including nonresidential and nonbuilding, will remain strong.

Nonresidential construction—commercial and industrial projects—did extremely well in 2007, and is expected to continue in 2008 although at a slightly slower rate, according to FMI's research.

Nonresidential construction is expected to expand at a 5% rate in 2008, and a 4% rate in 2009, at which point residential construction is expected to correct, albeit slowly. Despite the recent declines in total residential and single family construction, residential construction is expected to remain at a very high level.

What does this mean to a concrete contractor? Despite the slight decline, the construction industry, in which concrete plays an import role, is still strong.