School construction may be a partial exception. Much of the funding comes from property taxes, which have not declined nearly as much as sales or income taxes, let alone transportation user fees. Unlike passengers or vehicles, there has been no decline in the number of pupils once they can safely return to schools. As more families relocate, demand will grow for both new and renovated or expanded schools.

The pandemic has added to demand for ways of replacing scarce, onsite, skilled labor. To the extent that composite materials and products enable substitution of offsite fabrication, or quicker installation by smaller or less skilled crews, there will be growing demand for composites, even if the products themselves cost more.

Thus, 2021 is likely to be a challenging year for contractors. But it may mark a turning point for composites manufacturers hoping to crack the construction market.