The U.S. economy is looking healthy, but growth opportunities for spiral duct may be limited.

Those were the opinions of two experts who appeared at the Spiral Duct Manufacturers Association’s May 1-2 annual meeting here. The association brought in Clifford Brewis of Dodge Data and Analytics, and FMI Corp.’s Jay Bowman to discuss the state of construction in general and spiral ductwork in particular.

In a presentation full of stats and charts, Brewis said the economy has been improving for several years, but this climb out of recession has not been like previous recoveries.

“This has not been a steady recovery,” he said. The construction industry seemed “to bounce along the bottom” while the rest of the economy grew.

Brewis said the single-family home market is a good indicator of the construction industry’s health, and while it has improved, gains are leveling off. Home values in much of the country are still below the highs of 2006 and many homeowners remain in houses bought for more than they are worth today.

In his presentation on HVAC market trends, Bowman said spiral duct may have trouble reaching the market penetration widely expected when FMI researched it a decade ago.

“We have not really seen the growth in spiral duct that a lot of fabricators… had predicted,” he said.

 FMI estimated that 1.112 billion square feet of duct were fabricated during 2013 and the research firm is expecting that to grow to 1.242 billion square feet in 2015, Bowman said.