All the smart guys predicted the downturn would last through the end of 2010. So that means it should be getting better, right? Wrong. AGC’s recently published market data lend perspective to that vague hollow feeling that we have all learned to live with over the past few years. Material prices are up sharply this year, a full 4% in just these three short months of the new year. Contract price? You guessed it, dead flat, (at historical ten-year lows). Volume? right again, down. (1.4% from last year’s abysmal numbers). I don’t know how it is your company, but we’re pretty tired of this ever-worsening, bottomless recession. I tend to lean toward optimism even in trying circumstances, but these times test even the most cheeful of us. If you have any good news, please send it along, we’d love to share some. In the meantime, all we can do is hang in there. Vin Scully, the hall of fame Dodger’s broadcaster would remind us, “only suckers beef.” Well said. I’ll stick with my optimism, and head back to work.