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Posts Tagged ‘cultural resource management’

Boom times in Brazil

February 3, 2012 1 comment

Brazil is the world’s seventh largest economy. It is also one of the fastest growing economies with a GDP growth rate of about 5 percent. Interesting news tidbits have been surfacing about contract archaeology in Brazil. Dr. Janet Levy (UNC Charlotte) recently told me that she learned at the last American Anthropological Association meeting that there is a demand for archaeology faculty in Brazil because archaeologists are selecting to work in the private sector instead of academia. I found this interesting and interviewed Dr. Eduardo Góes Neves, a Brazilian archaeologist, at the Society for American Archaeology’s conference in Panamá a few weeks ago. Indeed, he reported that private-sector archaeology is doing very well in Brazil driven by strong federal laws and the strong economy. There are mature companies across the country, some of which are quite large with multiple office locations. He also noted that there is currently a wave of acquisition of these firms taking place by companies based in Spain and Portugal.

Given this interesting business news from Brazil, I’m pleased to note that Dr. Renato Kipnis is joining Heritage Business Journal to cover the heritage industry in Brazil.  Dr. Kipnis is a Director of Scientia Consultoria Científica Ltda. in São Paulo and will be keeping us up-to-date on business issues.

2012 increase in built environment compliance services forecast for the U.S.

February 3, 2012 1 comment

While government spending in the United States, like many other countries, is contracting from austerity measures, there are some areas of growth. In a 2011 webinar by Deltek based upon the U.S. President’s 2012 Budget Request, the only areas of spending growth in the construction and rehabilitation of physical assets (the things that drive Section 106 undertakings) were energy and health facilities. Energy spending, which is primarily for fulfilling energy efficiency and renewable energy mandates, will expand 41.2 percent over 2010 actuals to $10.5 billion. A large portion of the funding will be spent on renovating and retrofitting older government buildings, many of which are historic. Spending on veterans hospitals and other health care facilities will expand 69.0 percent to $3.1 billion. Many of these facilities also are historic. If this increase in funding is realized, heritage compliance companies in the U.S. should see a rise in demand for services focused on the built environment. Federal spending on projects producing significant amounts of archaeological compliance work may be decreasing in 2012, but this should be offset by a large increase in demand for compliance services involving historians, architectural historians, and historic architects.

What does GDP have to do with the heritage industry?

January 27, 2012 1 comment

Today the U.S. government released the advanced estimates for 2011 economic statistics. Real gross domestic product (GDP) increased 1.7 percent from 2010 (2010 GPD was 3.0 percent). GDP is, generally, a good proxy for the amount of “undertakings” (Section 106 language) undertaken. This is an  important metric  for the heritage compliance sector in the U.S.  If your firm uses revenue as a growth metric, you should discount your annual growth by 1.7 percent to account for market growth if you want to track your firm’s market share. For example, if your revenue increased by 1.7 percent last year, your market share did not increase because the size of the market increased by 1.7 percent.

Note, however, a couple of other trends. First, industry growth tends to lag patterns of change in GDP growth by 18 months in both directions. That is, when GDP goes up, it takes about 18 months for that change to be realized in the heritage industry. The same is true for a downturn in GDP. This pattern is not absolute, but the correlation is very strong.  Second, since 1999 industry growth has substantially exceeded GDP growth on an annual basis in almost every year. For 2011, industry growth was just under 4 percent (as reported by Environmental Business Journal). So, in measuring your firm’s market share for last year, you may actually want to adjust by 4 percent instead of 1.7 percent.

Measuring absolute market share of your firm in the U.S. compliance sector of the heritage industry is difficult because there are not good numbers on the absolute size of the market. However, using change in GDP or the overall environmental consulting industry is a way of measuring and tracking relative change in your firm’s market share from year to year.

Where in the world is the business?

January 25, 2012 1 comment

Most would agree that the heritage industry is becoming globalized. Many companies now work on projects in areas of the world outside of where they are headquartered. A few companies, through acquisition and/or organic growth, are beginning to have a global footprint with offices on different continents. How is work distributed globally? Environmental Business Journal (Volume 24(11)) recently reported that the global market for environmental consulting and engineering services was $53 billion in 2010. While heritage services are an unknown part of that number, we would expect that the distribution of revenue is proportionately the same for heritage services as for the larger environmental category of which heritage services are a part. These data show that 47% of revenue was from the United States, 35% was from Western Europe, and only 18% was from the rest of the world. While emerging economies may be growing disproportionately faster than the “developed” world, and may present important market opportunities for heritage firms, the market for heritage services currently appears to be centered in the U.S. and Western Europe.

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