Materials Costs Will Rise
Prices for cement, steel, copper, gypsum and diesel fuel were on the rise before Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coat of the U.S. last week. And prices for many of these items will now go higher, believes Ken Simonson, chief economist for the Alexandria, Va.-based Associated General Contractors of America.
See IndustryWeek's Hurricane Katrina News & Resources section for more on coverage and how companies are responding.
Demand Seen For Computers, Fire Trucks
In addition to replacing production machinery and computers damaged by Hurricane Katrina, the storm will create demand for fire trucks, police cars and dump trucks, predicts the Herman Group, a Greensboro, N.C.-based consulting firm. At the same time, "employers throughout the U.S. could recruit displaced workers, with their high level of competency. The difficulty will come in connecting employers and qualified workers."