As 2016 winds down, construction industry professionals are focusing on the challenges and opportunities that will present themselves in the year ahead. In an exclusive interview at the recent AED/AEM Equipment Economic Forum, Chief Economist Ken Simonson of the Associated General Contractors of America forecasts key drivers and disruptors for growth in 2017.

1. The economy will keep growing and construction will keep growing.

2. Expect volatility in the energy sector.

3. Contractors' number one concern is finding enough qualified workers.

4. Global economy could be bad news for exporters.